Darwin market’s weakening trend continued into 2019, with declines in both sales and median price for all suburbs recorded at the start of the year, according to Herron Todd White’s June issue of Month in Review.

Data from the Real Estate Institute of Northern Territory (REINT) showed a 40% fall in the median unit and townhouse price from $565,500 in March 2015 to $330,000 in March 2019 across Darwin CBD.

The suburb Moulden has also posted some big reductions, with home sales dropping by 30% or more from 2013-2014.

“All markets have been hit, from residential to commercial, dwellings to units and the suburbs of Parap to Darwin River. The weak market has been foreseen for some time now, and it is now believed that homeowners are coming to the realisation that their homes are not worth what they perceive. This has been a difficult process and caused stress throughout the market and wider economy,” said Herron Todd White.

The current state of the market, though, is similar to most of the country. The new lending for investment dwellings in Australia is at its lowest since 2011, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. In addition, lending for the purchase or construction of a new home in Australia has slid to its lowest level since 2013. Lending to households has decreased year-over-year by 17.8% in the Northern Territory.

While the results above reflect a significant drop, the decline needs to be looked at in comparison to other states, according to Herron Todd White. Victoria and New South Wales have also both declined year-over-year, 15.4% and 18.9%, respectively.

“We are seeing homeowners slowly accepting the very weak property market. This is reinforced by looking at the recent statistics for the northern suburbs. Although sales are decreasing, we are seeing prices stabilising to only minimal decreases (REINT, March 2019),” the report said.

Given current conditions, most homeowners will likely hold onto their properties and await a better market, selling only as a last resort, Herron Todd White said.

“We need to remember during these tough times the old saying ‘you only lose if you sell.’ However, if you must sell, we are seeing well-presented properties still high in demand, so be sure to present your home in good condition, have neat and tidy landscaping and make sure there are no small works required by the potential buyer,” the report said.