Homebuyers and investors stuck in COVID lockdowns in NSW and Sydney are increasingly thinking about relocating and Darwin is their top choice, according to the latest insight from Raine & Horne.
Since the start of the lockdowns in Greater Sydney in the last week of June, enquiries from interested NSW buyers looking into properties in Darwin surged by 20%.
Raine & Horne general manager Glenn Grantham said this was reminiscent of what happened during the extended lockdown in Victoria.
"This new interest in Darwin follows the success of the Northern Territory’s 5-day lockdown followed by the immediate return to the standard transmission for business, real estate and our economy," Mr Grantham said.
"The lockdown was immediate, hard, and it’s allowed us to move on fast. It was also the shortest genuine lockdown of any capital city over the course of the pandemic.”
What are NSW investors looking for in Darwin?
NSW investors are most interested in properties in Darwin and Palmerston. A value of $500,000 is the "sweet spot" for investors wanting to cash in on the city's thriving market.
“Many NSW investors are also looking for vacant properties, rentals where the current tenants are about to vacate or have leases that are about to be renegotiated," Mr Grantham said.
“Previously, investors were ignoring vacant apartments or those nearing the end of a lease. But with rents in Darwin and Palmerston going through the roof, they are now popular with savvy investors.”
What makes Darwin attractive is its investment yield which sits above 7%, substantially higher than in Sydney where it is a struggle to find even a 3% return.