Star performer looks for more
If there’s one part of Australia that’s been a small yet strong economic achiever in recent years, it’s the Northern Territory. But can it keep up the momentum?
If NSW is Goliath, then the Northern Territory is surely David.
The Top End had the fastest economic growth in 2012/13 – the last year for which there are official figures, according to the latest Deloitte Access Economics Business Outlook
Furthermore, Deloitte predicts the NT will have repeated that performance in 2013/14, for one primary reason: the Ichthys LNG project.
“The Territory has superb natural resources, but it was slow to join the global (and Australian) resources boom until Ichthys came along,” the report says.
The good news is that the construction phase of this project is still in progress and will continue for some time. However, the Territory may run into transitional troubles as it moves out of construction and into exports.
In fact, an increasing number of Territorians are already moving to other states as the peak of the construction work has now passed.
Furthermore, the Top End has also traditionally been a strong performer in retail spending, but this, too, has fallen back recently. Indeed, retail turnover is only predicted to grow by 1.8% over 2015/16, a far cry from the 5.8% growth over the previous year.
However, the livestock export industry in particular is beginning to pick up again, especially since the fall of the Australian dollar. In December, it was arranged for approximately 50,000 cattle (including about 33,000 sourced from NT producers) to be shipped from Darwin
, which will benefit the NT economy to the tune of $32m. This was similar to December 2013’s record activity that followed the reopening of trade with Indonesia.
Darwin development turning heads
Darwin is always an interesting market, which has experienced fantastic growth over the years, says Elaine Chase of Positive Real Estate. And even though this paused for a while in 2014, it appears to be gaining momentum again.
“Darwin will need more signs of demand to ensure it is in an upward cycle,” says Chase.
Situated on the edge of Darwin’s rural area, the suburb of Coolalinga and its Gwelo development are being particularly well received in the market, with duplex-style units giving Coolalinga’s traditional performer (acreage-only style dwellings) a run for its money.
Close proximity to road infrastructure and a shopping centre are real positives for this development, according to the latest Herron Todd White report.
“Further off the plan residential sales and commercial construction suggests that this location has more to offer,” the report says.
SUBURB TO WATCH
Tiwi: Range of prospects for investors
As many residents of Tiwi have discovered over the years, there is a lot more to this suburb than its cute name. For one, it’s close to sublime local beaches and the Casuarina Shopping District. These amenities have helped attract families to the area, as have the great schools and parklands close by.
Then there’s the fact that the Royal Darwin Hospital is in Tiwi. This is the Iargest hospital in the NT and employs over 1,500 people, meaning a lot of hospital staff with stable jobs are opting to reside in the area.
The supply and demand figures for Tiwi are very strong indeed, especially the neat and tidy 100% auction clearance rate and the 0% vacancy rate for houses. Another promising statistic is the median weekly household income, which grew by a healthy 30.97% to $1,704 between the last two censuses. This is $470 above the Australian average.
In addition to the healthy gross rental yield of 5%, there has also been strong average annual growth of 10% in Tiwi.
Families looking for homes in this area are especially drawn to big attractive houses with swimming pools. For this property type, streets such as Dorisvale Crescent, Glencoe Crescent and Rocklands Drive are good options. And houses on Rocklands Drive are close to sought-after amenities, including the Casuarina Coastal Reserve and Charles Darwin University.