Growing Asian investment could be the way the Top End regains its form in the near future
Darwin continues to stumble in the market, with overall values falling year on year and rental rates dropping. Nonetheless, quarterly results show a little more promise, as Darwin’s June 2017 quarter statistics were more favourable than the previous quarter.
“[In Australia,] the largest increase in the median price for houses was seen in Hobart at 4.9%, while for other dwellings Darwin’s 9.3% increase was the highest,” says Malcolm Gunning, president of REIA, in a media release.
“Median house prices increased over the quarter in inner Darwin by 19.9% and in the Northern Suburbs by 5.4%, but decreased in Palmerston by 6.1% and in Alice Springs by 11.8%. The median rent for three-bedroom houses in Darwin decreased to $484 per week, a decrease of 2% over the quarter and a decrease of 6% over the previous year.”
The dip in rents and prices has led to increased housing affordability as more buyers find themselves able to make loan repayments and pay rent. As a result, the average vacancy rate for the quarter decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 6.9%.
Increasing interest from the overseas market is also expected to boost Darwin’s profile in the coming years.
“[NT,] and in particular Darwin, remains a strong gateway to an ever-growing Asian economy,” says Charles Tarbey, chairman and owner of Century 21 Australasia.
“This I believe will begin to show itself over the coming years, making it an area to keep an eye on.”
NT investors have their pick
Buyers are spoilt for choice in the NT market, although the majority of owner-occupiers are finding their way to the new suburb of Zuccoli in Palmerston. The Northern Suburbs are starting to become a hive of residential activity as well.
“As developers continue to release land in both Zuccoli and the Northcrest development which is now starting to come online, home owners continue to gravitate towards this segment of the market,” states Herron Todd White in its Month in Review report for September 2017.
“Although established dwellings have decreased in value, the option of new builds remains attractive to home owners, in particular first home owners.”
However, semi-attached and attached units continue to struggle on the market, with vacant land still the purchase of choice. HTW attributes this to the government’s provision of incentives for new land purchases.
Near the Darwin CBD, the suburbs of Leanyer, Anula, Wagaman and Karama are popular with homeowners as they offer quality properties situated on good-sized blocks of land.
SUBURB TO WATCH
THE GAP: Slight pick-up in Alice Springs suburb
Located within the Alice Springs area, The Gap is starting to see a gentle increase in prices following a significant down period in recent years.
Houses did slightly better than units in terms of growth, although the latter generated considerably higher yields. Property prices are remarkably low, with the median house price coming to just over $390,000 and the median unit value dipping below $285,000.
The Gap is less than 10 minutes from the Alice Springs CBD by car, which gives residents easy access to schools for all levels, as well as Charles Darwin University and a thriving arts and entertainment scene in the Aboriginal art capital of Central Australia.
Education: The Gap offers easy access to Charles Darwin University in Alice Springs
Price: Both houses and units are quite affordable given the good location