Being the simpleton I am, it be-hooves me to ask a lot of questions. Maybe I'll come to an understanding, maybe I won't, but people are less likely to spin a line if you want a couple of facts to back up what ever excrement is dribbling down their chin.

Apparently there's a housing shortage in Australia, which in turn must mean there is a housing shortage in Tasmania. Well, if you're a real estate agent and you want to snag that sale and justify that price tag, just throw that one into the mix. Putting the fear of god into a buyer, subtly hinting their commodore station wagon could be their long term abode, is a good way to close the deal.

I had the misfortune of stumbling across this blog, which as it happens, is probably infinitely more well read than mine, but thanks to the 4 people who've stopped to visit.

A short summary, if you're too lazy to look, we were graced with the regular staples:

- now is the time;
- property is low risk;
- use the equity in your house;
- and there is an ongoing supply shortage;
No data to back that last one up of course, but being it's the time to buy an investment property, using the equity in your house, why would you even investigate it? Take the word of a salesman, who conveniently also has a property management service available - of course it's the time to buy.

So here's some rough stats I peeled off the ABS.

In 2006 Tasmania had 189,100 dwellings vs 489,951 people - 2.59 persons per dwelling.

From then, till the period ending February 2010, Tasmania had built 9690 new dwellings, while its population had grown by 17,848 (projected Sep 2010). As you can see I'm erring in favour of the population growth.

A new dwelling for every 1.84 persons added to the state population. By any measure, there's no shortage - unless of course people are now building houses for primary school aged kids to live in.

But hey, keep up the building and keep up the spruiking, you might even find yourself a fascinating reference point in a couple of years:
The California Building Industry Association (CBIA) continues to express alarm over what it calls an ongoing housing crisis in Southern California. Alan Nevin, the association’s chief economist, projected in a 2006 CBIA Housing Forecast that only 185,000 to 205,000 building permits will be granted this year, far short of the 240,000 new homes needed each year.”

"Southern California has been experiencing a massive population boom in recent years and it's believed that 6 million new residents will be living in the region by 2020. The population increase, coupled with the housing shortage, has the CBIA worried that it will be increasingly difficult for first-time homebuyers to find a moderately priced unit.
A shortage in Tasmania, a state with barely 1% population growth. Real estate agents say the darnedest things.


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