Hobart Property Market Data

HOBART’S double-digit increases in property prices during 2009 were unsustainable, a leading economist said yesterday.

Hobart house prices improved 14 per cent during the year, figures from residential property data base RP Data show. The rise to the end of October took the median house price in Hobart to $310,050.

CommSec chief economist Craig James said the data showed home prices were rising at “unsustainable rates” in capital cities such as Hobart, Darwin (up 17.9 per cent) and Melbourne (up 17 per cent).

Mr James said these sorts of increases would “no doubt make the Reserve Bank a little nervous”. “It’s fair to say that yet another solid increase in home prices has increased the chances of a rate hike in February,” he said.

“The last thing anyone wants to see in 2010 is another boom-bust scenario being played out in the housing market.” Nationally, property prices rose 11.3 per cent in 2009, according to the RP Data-Rismark national home value index.

RP Data research director Tim Lawless described 2009 as an “exceptional and surprising year for Australia’s property market”.