As a result, Tasmania has seen the strongest overseas migration on record, with a net 2,500 settling in the year to September 2018. That number was also nearly matched by other Australians heading across Bass Strait to take up residence.
However, there are warning signs ahead. The ANZ Stateometer found Tasmania’s economic activity slipped below its long term trend rate in the March quarter after two strong years.
ANZ Research expects Hobart house prices will correct over the next two years - although by less than other Australian capitals - while house building approvals are now off their peak (but still strong).
Another area for note is employment. Official data suggest Tasmania’s unemployment rate was 7.6 per cent for females in April, up from 5.3 per cent a year ago. For males it was 6.1 per cent in April, down from 6.5 per cent a year ago. That compared poorly with the mainland.
However, given the rising female unemployment rate is a little at odds with the activity data, ANZ Research thinks it’s possible that rate will adjust downwards again.
Demographically, Tasmania is relatively old but for those industries leveraged to ageing that’s good news. The economy has a larger concentration of the strongly growing health and social assistance sector than any other state or territory.