Clare Valley Real estate boom is the toast of the town

BOOMING tourism and wine industries, and the recent coronavirus lockdowns, are driving the Clare Valley real estate market, with local agents reporting an increase in inquiries in the picturesque region.

Nutrien Harcourts real estate specialist Geoff Knappstein said many buyers had experienced a shift in mindset about how they wanted to live, and were now considering living further out from the city and working remotely.

“We’ve had a massive increase in inquiry from people outside of Clare looking to buy in our region,” Mr Knappstein said.

“It’s a very constant market up here. We’re not far from Adelaide and you’ve got everything up here – plenty of wineries and restaurants. It’s just a good place to be.

“There are some people who live in Clare that make a daily commute to the city for work, because if you’re coming from Sydney, a two-hour trip is nothing.”

Mr Knappstein said the region’s agricultural market was particularly strong.

“We’ve got more buyers than properties and these properties go very quickly,” Mr Knappstein said. data shows the Clare and Gilbert valleys have historically demonstrated slow and steady price growth, with houses up by a moderate 2.8 per cent over the past year, 4.4 per cent over the past three years, and 3.9 per cent over the past five years.

Of the 150 sales in the region over the past 12 months, the median sale price was $277,500. Houses commanded a median weekly rent of $280 and delivered a rental yield of 5.43 per cent.

Ray White Clare Valley principal Mark O’Meagher said, in light of recent lockdowns, many buyers were keen to get out of the suburbs and into a rural community.

“We’ve seen an increase based purely, I think, on people feeling safer in a regional area,” he said.

“Inquiries have increased dramatically since April and May, and we’re also seeing a massive increase in land sales on the back of the recent government grants.

“We’ve also seen a lot of city-dwellers and interstaters buying sight unseen because they’re impressed by the dollar value.

“For some of them, it was a move they were going to do years down the track, but then with the recent COVID impact, it’s brought that decision-making process forward.”

High school teacher Justin Lodge and his family bought a home in Clare five years ago and said they loved the region. “We were able to buy a four-bedroom home in a place for us that was pretty much perfect, and our mortgage repayments are actually less than what we were paying in rent prior to that – and that was even with us being in subsidised teacher housing,” Mr Lodge said.

“That fact alone was probably enough to give us the impetus to buy.

“We were from the Adelaide Hills and to get what we have here back there would have cost us more than $100,000 more.

“Plus Clare is a nice town to live in, with lots of young families.”


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Tasmania to toast early end to coronavirus restrictions in time for Queen’s Birthday weekend

It has been a challenging few months for Hobart restaurateur Bella Edwards.

Her restaurant in Salamanca is one of several Tasmanian businesses that were hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

She was able to keep the doors open by offering takeaway and delivery, but she is now preparing to welcome customers back inside as Tasmania eases a number of its restrictions today.

Earlier this week, Premier Peter Gutwein announced that the second stage of restrictions would be eased from 3:00pm on Friday, nearly two weeks ahead of schedule.

Tasmania has not seen a new case of coronavirus in 20 days, and only three active cases remain.

Hobart’s Salamanca Place entertainment precinct will be open in time for the long weekend.(

It means cafes and restaurants like Ms Edwards’s will now be able to host up to 40 patrons at once, just in time for the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.

Restaurant staff drinking and eating for a promotional photograph.
Bella Edwards (left) and staff are keen to get back to it.(Instagram: Ti Ama)

“It has been a surprise, but it’s a fantastic surprise that we’re able to offer our services again,” she said.

“It’s great that everybody has done such a fantastic job of staying at home and keeping distance and keeping safe.”

With a limited number of bookings already snapped up by eager diners, Ms Edwards says her and her staff are looking forward to reconnecting with customers this weekend.

“We love doing our work, so being able to come back and do it again, we’re pretty ecstatic.”

Returning to (a new) normal

Dining in at restaurants and cafes is not the only restriction easing in the state this afternoon.

Up to 40 people will be allowed to visit pubs and bars, and patrons can order drinks without ordering food so long as they are seated.

Tasmanians will also be allowed to freely travel around the state, meaning people can visit their shacks or camp overnight, with no limit on how long people can stay at their shack for.

Boating restrictions will also be lifted, with Tasmanians able to launch their boats outside of where they live.

National parks and reserves are also opening, with the previous rule of visiting those only within 30 kilometres of your homes no longer enforced.

Two unidentified backpackers in forest environment.
People will be allowed to camp overnight again.(Pixabay)

The number of people allowed to gather both indoors and outdoors will increase to 20, but must follow physical distancing guidelines of 1.5 metres where possible.

Households will now be able to host 10 visitors at any one time, in addition to household residents.

Additional restrictions easing from 3:00pm today include:

  • Gatherings for weddings and religious ceremonies, including private worship and church services, increase to 20 people
  • Funerals can have up to 50 people indoors and outdoors
  • Cinemas, theatres, museums and galleries can host up to 20 people
  • Beauty therapy, tanning, waxing and tattoo businesses can re-open, but must follow the one-person-per-four-square-metre rule
  • Indoor gyms, boot camps and dance studios can have up to 20 people at a time
  • Playgrounds will open for up to 20 people
  • Open homes and auctions can have 20 visitors
  • Indoor and outdoor sport can resume with a 20 person limit
  • Betting retail shopfronts will reopen

Tasmania’s border restrictions however will still remain in place for at least another month.

The third stage of easing restrictions remains scheduled for July 13, but is subject to Public Health Service advice.

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