Tasmania's West Coast is a paradise for fast mortgage repayments

Zeehan, one of the West Coast's main population centres. Picture: Brodie Weeding.
Zeehan, one of the West Coast's main population centres. Picture: Brodie Weeding.

If you like the sound of paying off your mortgage quickly, the West Coast is the place to be in Tasmania's northern half.

It would take just five years on average to pay off a house mortgage on the West Coast if 28 per cent of income went to mortgage repayments, according to a statistical tool issued by the Regional Australia Institute.

That was largely due to the West having easily the lowest median house price ($73,159) of any of the 16 North-West and Northern municipalities covered by the RAI's MOVE tool.

Flinders and Meander Valley were at the other end of the scale, with an average 23 years to pay off a mortgage.

West Tamar, Latrobe, Kentish, Dorset and Northern Midlands also had averages of 20 years or more.

King Island (13), George Town (14) and Circular Head (14) were next quickest behind the West Coast.

The downside for the West Coast was that it had a more narrow mix of job types than any of the other North-West or Northern council areas.

The tool's diversification index showing how diverse an area's economy is compared to the national economy put the West Coast at just 0.2430.

West Coast Mayor Phil Vickers said the council was looking to do whatever it could to diversify the local economy.

That included through aged care and other services.

The West Coast population declined significantly in recent years, which Cr Vickers said was a factor.

"Ten thousand people will create a lot more jobs than 5000," he said.

"The challenge for us is to put out there all the good things and, if we can get some movement, the downsides slowly disappear.

"We've got a lot of opportunities.

"The cost of living is not that much higher than the bigger centres.

"We are finding, albeit slowly, houses are now selling and people are moving in for specific lifestyle choices."

He said attractions included outdoor activities, the lack of "hustle and bustle" and the cooler climate.

The best of the northern half councils for diversification was West Tamar (0.9652), with Launceston, Devonport, Burnie and Central Coast among the other higher scorers.

Of the 16 council areas, West Tamar ($356,708), Meander Valley ($352,106) and Latrobe ($347,048) had the highest median house prices.

King Island had the highest average annual income ($64,371), followed by Launceston ($58,541).

King Island had easily the lowest unemployment rate - 1.6 per cent - which would help explain its relatively high average income.

It is also known to have high prices compared to most of Tasmania.

The lowest average incomes were at Dorset ($47,224) and Kentish ($49,583).

All of the other areas had annual incomes between $53,044 (George Town) and $56,897 (West Tamar).

  • The tool did not include figures for Break O'Day.