Efforts pour forth to improve the Top End’s infrastructure and enhance economic prospects in this dwindling state economy
Supply continues to enter the Darwin market, causing the amount of available stock to spike.
Cameron Kusher, senior analyst at CoreLogic, points out that total listings in the city keep rising, with the number of new dwellings entering the market increasing by over 10%.
“The main driver of Darwin in recent years has been a big LNG project, and that’s in its latest stages of construction now. It’s not at a point where the construction is being ramped up – it’s being wound down. And so there’s fewer and fewer people being employed,” explains Angie Zigomanis, senior manager of residential property at BIS Oxford Economics.
“When that project was coming through, you had this pipeline of dwellings being built at the time when population growth was starting to slow and turn around. So the market’s still oversupplied, and I think vacancy rates are 6–7%.”
Thus, Zigomanis believes that even with new projects coming through, the market is still far too oversupplied for new demand to soak up available stock. As a result, he believes Darwin will remain a weak market for a few more years.
Slow population growth and a poor economy are two major factors that continue to keep Darwin’s market subdued.
“Population growth has been at a snail’s pace, increasing just 8% in five years, and much more needs to be done to attract people to the Territory,” says Ruth Palmer, executive director of the Property Council of Australia NT.
Recently, the state government provided funding to the Property Council to jump-start efforts to upgrade the intersection of Cavenagh Street and Bennett Street. Additionally, the design for Barneson Boulevard was also finalised. These projects aim to help improve commutes to the Darwin CBD, enhancing the city’s liveability.
“By creating a new access-way into the CBD, the Barneson Boulevard will remove current constraints to growth, create jobs in the Darwin region and open up new areas for development in the Top End’s primary employment and entertainment hub,” Palmer states.
“This is a ‘city building’ project aimed to enable the Darwin CBD to continue to expand as the economic centre of the Territory.” Palmer praises the contribution of the government in the light of poor population growth and falling private investment. She cites projects such as the Revitalise Darwin CBD program, which could spike tourism and investment to create more jobs and economic stability.
SUBURB TO WATCH
BAKEWELL: Top End’s family-friendly suburb
An inner-city suburb of Palmerston, the satellite community located around half an hour’s drive from Darwin, Bakewell is an established residential suburb that was first developed in the 1990s.
The family-friendly neighbourhood is home to a number of parks, playgrounds and open green spaces, and boasts a diverse range of dwelling types to suit a wide demographic.
Residents enjoy ready access to a number of local amenities, including public transport, shops, and several schools and daycare facilities. The suburb is home to the recently renovated Bakewell Shopping Centre, and near the newly constructed Gateway Shopping Centre, which offers a Woolworths, a Big W, a cinema complex and over 100 specialty stores.
Shopping: Two new shopping centres are within easy reach
Demographics: The suburb appeals to families
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