Sharing a street with a maximum-security prison might not sit well with most, but Hobart couple Toni and Marc Linley wouldn’t have it any other way.
- Investors are now snapping up homes in Risdon, just 10 kilometres from Hobart’s CBD
- The maximun-security Risdon Prison has in the past discouraged buyers
- The area is now commanding good rents, as its proximity to services and suburban centres is appreciated
In fact, the Linleys, who once lived on a council estate in Leeds in the UK, refer to their patch of the eastern shore suburb of Risdon Vale as “paradise”.
“You can hear sirens going off all the time when they’re paging people, but I can’t see it, so it doesn’t bother us at all,” Ms Linley said.
“Why let it put you off, it’s maximum security so they [the inmates] are not likely to get out.”
In February, the couple bought a second house in the same street, paying $218,000.
They have grand plans to renovate the home from the inside out and have it on the rental market for $350 a week within the month.
The 36-year-old mother of three said Hobart’s housing boom had squeezed them out of the inner city and suburbia.
“We couldn’t afford Lindisfarne so we had to look further afield. We wouldn’t even bother looking at Hobart suburbs,” Ms Linley said.
“We thought it [Risdon Vale] was a bloody steal – yeah, there’s a prison on my doorstep but so what, there could be worse things like a brothel or dealers.
“Since we’ve lived here, I think one [prisoner] has escaped but as long as they’re not knocking on my door, I’m alright.”
The Linley family are not the only ones snapping up cheap property in Risdon Vale.
The latest figures from the realestate.com.au property outlook report found the suburb, home to Tasmania’s Risdon Prison, had experienced a 17 per cent growth in property prices over the past year.
“Prison suburbs are notoriously unpopular on realestate.com.au, usually seeing very low views per listing,” the report said.
Tony Collidge from the Real Estate Institute of Tasmania (REIT) said he was not surprised by the sudden price rise, with investors realising the area was not defined solely by its most infamous tenant.
“The central hub of the town is away from the prison, I think it’s a furphy that the prices there are linked to the fact the prison is there,” he said.
“The area does attract good rents, it has a school, it has services and easy access to the municipal centres of Glenorchy, Rosny and Eastlands [shopping centre].
“It’s less than 10 kilometres to the centre of the CBD.”
Mr Collidge said the suburb was not becoming gentrified, as buyers looked to snap up first homes and investment properties.
“It’s an area which is still very blue collar,” he said.
“I’d think the renting profile had increased in that area now, second and third generation people would now live in the area with the older generation moving out.”
Risdon Vale did not crack the top 10 of Tasmania’s most in-demand suburbs, according to the property outlook report.
Hobart and outer suburbs of the capital city claimed all 10 spots, with Hobart itself ranked number one.