The butterfly effect: every sale counts

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Font Strategic Partner, Tom O’Meara discusses the boost in the Launceston economy 


It’s not often that the sale of pub, or should I say hotel, is considered a confidence booster for the local economy.

But the recent $10m sale of Launceston’s Sebel Apartment Hotel is an exception for a variety of reasons including the national and international offers, the bullish sale price and the significance that the unnamed buyer is from Tasmania. The buyer by the way isn’t one of the major investors and supporters of Launceston such as Errol Stewart and Josef Chromy but he and his family are from Northern Tasmania and someone that we will hear a lot more about over the next few years.

The sale took just 10 weeks from listing to settlement and attracted 30 enquiries which eventuated to seven offers from Queensland, Victoria, NSW, Tasmania and Singapore, signifying the general attractiveness of investing in Tasmania.

The interest from Chinese investors has grown exponentially in the past 12 months, with reports from seasoned Launceston real estate agents that they are being inundated with overseas inquiries for commercial properties and new domestic properties.

So not only did the sale of the Sebel Apartment Hotel attract genuine interest nationally and overseas, but it also attracted interest from our local market which is now moving from an investment wait-and-see mode to opening up the purse strings, keeping the assets in Tasmanian hands.

The Sebel, now in its 10th year of operation, has made its mark in Launceston and features 49 self-contained suites, a restaurant, two conference rooms and a gymnasium. It also incorporates 35 strata titled residential apartments which were not part of the sale.

Sitting on the corner of St John and William Streets, the Sebel is only a five minute walk from the Penny Royal accommodation and tourism centre, which is also forging ahead with a $22m redevelopment. A similar distance away in the opposite direction is the $16m Silo Hotel complex due to open this year or early next year.

So our unnamed Northern investor has weighed up the competition and forged ahead, full of confidence that his $10m investment will complement the new and revamped venues in Launceston – a bullish approach but a terrific fillip for the Northern economy, which is now slowly but surely picking itself up from the canvas.

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