Darwin remains the safest capital city in Australia, as it continues to experience minimal impacts from the COVID-19 outbreak. However, will this signal a rosy spring selling season for the Northern Territory capital?
The spring market is usually "not noticeable" in the Northern Territory as it is in eastern and southern states, said Jeremy Callan, a property valuer at HTW.
"Peak seasons, particularly in Darwin, are in the winter months with transactions occurring steadily throughout the year," he said.
Still, Darwin's housing market has been showing steady growth this year. Callan said many regions in the territory recorded strong gains in sales activity during the second quarter.
For instance, the North Coastal Region registered a 26% increase in sales over the June quarter. The region also posted an 11.7% growth in dwelling values over the quarter.
"While we are not yet seeing dramatic rises across the market at this stage, typically speaking the first signs of a recovery are the rise in transaction numbers. COVID-19 appears to have had little effect on the Darwin market and the days on market are dropping dramatically," Callan said.
Listings are also down in the North Coastal Region, which, Callan believes, could potentially help maintain the prices.
"Buyer enquiry remains steady with some urgency now creeping back into buyers’ minds," he said.
The unit market in Northern Territory, however, continues to be stuck in the doldrums, at least price-wise. Darwin's Inner Region reported a decline in values during the second quarter of the year despite the slight increase in sales volume.
Callan said while it is difficult to ascertain what will happen in the short to medium term, the recent market performance of the housing market could provide some sense of optimism.
"For the remainder of 2020, bar any major outbreak, major policy or government reform, the market will continue to operate much the same with some renewed buyer confidence and with any luck, some signs of capital growth on the horizon," he said.