Economic, Banking and Financial industry - Your money

A tough month for sales in july could barely hold back tasmanias property market momentum

THE momentum of Tasmania’s property market is hard to hold back.

According to the latest Real Estate Institute of Tasmania president Tony Collidge Tasmania was now a sellers market.

I firmly believe that our market is on a solid footing and will continue to improve for some time to come, he said.

The latest REIT quarterly report, revealed while it had been a tough month for sales in July that could barely hold back Tasmanias property market momentum.

The report showed that despite a very slow month around the Federal Election, the local property market had recorded only 71 fewer sales compared with the previous quarter.

Over the period, Launceston was the municipality with the most sales (297 worth $81m), followed by Clarence (288 sales worth $108m), Glenorchy (227 sales worth $64m) and Hobart (176 sales worth $99m).

The most affordable town was Rosebery recording six sales at a tiny median price of $54,000.

Of the 16 sales over $1m, 15 of them were in Hobart.

First home buyers accounted for 15 per cent of the sales at a median price of $262,750 while second home buyers occupied more than 60 per cent at a median price of $351,000.

When new homeowner Mikayla Hall bought her first house in Berriedale she instantly knew it was the right thing to do.

Miss Hall grew up in Hobarts northern suburbs and was house hunting in that area only.

I only inspected four houses before buying this one, she said. I walked in, had a look around and immediately got that feeling that people talk about.

Before that moment I didnt actually know that the feeling was a real thing, but when you know something is perfect for you it becomes clear quickly.

Miss Hall, 22, bought a two-bedroom weatherboard house with enough room for her partner and a friend. She was happy to say she got a great price.

It had already been renovated with a new kitchen, new bathroom, doors and floors. All I had to do was buy some new blinds and paint it, she said.

My plan is to live here for a couple of years and then, if I want to move on, it would be smart to keep this house as an investment property. The rental returns in the northern suburbs are fantastic, everyone wants to live here.

Mr Collidge said the Tasmania property market was now a sellers market.

I firmly believe that our market is on a solid footing and will continue to improve for some time to come, he said. Mr Collidge said while the markets dire number of listings was still cause for concern there was strong and growing demand for property in Tasmania.

I dont have an answer for why there are more buyers than sellers, he said.

It seems to have gotten worse since midyear and some agents believe people are not putting their houses on the market because they cant find what they want.

The REITs report noted Greater Hobarts median house price had increased annually by 7.8 per cent to $385,000, while the inner city had grown by 11.7 per cent to $581,000.

The time it takes to sell in Hobart has dropped from 45 days to 29.

In the north, Launcestons average days on market has also picked up pace from 67 days down to 57.

Launcestons sales numbers increased by 6.9 per cent while median prices dropped by 5.4 per cent.

Mr Collidge called Launceston the investor capital of Tasmania.

Increased investor activity in the area has seen more sales in the lower price ranges and this has been largely responsible for a decreasing in Launcestons median price, he said.

American man pays 3000 tax with pennies

THE last time the government mucked you around, you probably said a few choice expletives, rang them back and stayed on hold, because what else can you do?

Well, this man gave the government his two cents and 299,998 more.

Nick Stafford, who lives in Virginia, had a simple question about the address he should use when registering a car for his son. He tried to call the local office, but his call was diverted to a call centre somewhere else.

He found it impossible to get through, so he submitted a freedom of information request for the direct phone number, but even that didnt help. After repeated calls, they finally answered his question, but by then he was seriously irate.

If they were going to inconvenience me then I was going to inconvenience them, he told Virginias Herald Courier.

When time came to pay sales sax on two new cars, he took action.

Mr Stafford went to the bank and got rolls and rolls and rolls of pennies.

He bought five new wheelbarrows, and hired 11 people for four hours to help move 725 kilograms of coins to the desk of the local Department of Motor Vehicles.

The fine was US$3000 (A$4000).

However, by the time he added $440 in wages, $400 for wheelbarrows which he left full of coins in the foyer of the office - and $165 in court fees, he ended up spending US$1005 (A$1340) just for the satisfaction of showing the government who they really work for.

Its pretty inconvenient, but Stafford said it was his right as by law all American coins and notes are legal tender within the United States.

This week, a judge dismissed his lawsuit, but he wasnt fussed.

I told the judge, I think I proved my point here, Mr Stafford said proudly.

Brent Catterson pays a council fine using only coins.