The Top End capital is the focus of many investors – but are there opportunities elsewhere?

With the massive Inpex project looming, Darwin is the focus of many investors currently eyeing the Northern Territory as the next resources hot spot. The offshore gas plan – and a number of other connected and unconnected projects – promises to boost Darwin’s economy, which has been in something of a lull over the last year or so, and should see population growth surge with resulting pressure on the housing market.

However, Darwin isn’t the only city in the Top End with investment prospects: with resources projects springing up all over the state, the Territory’s other cities are also looking good for investors. Quentin Kilian, President of the Real Estate Institute of the Northern Territory, highlights three locations that investors should look at closely.


A popular tourist destination and overnight stopover for interstate rail travellers, Katherine also has a strong mining industry and a sizeable military personnel presence due to the nearby RAAF Tindal base. The city has seen a population surge in recent years.

“It’s the only place in the Territory that is growing in both median and sales,” says Kilian.

Tennant Creek

Next is Tennant Creek. A much smaller market, Kilian warns that it’s also a volatile one.

“Property in Tennant Creek has done some amazing things – for example, we saw a 137% increase in sales volume in the second quarter of 2011,” says Kilian. “However, go back a decade, and you could have bought a house for the princely sum of $55,000 – we’ve seen growth of 341% in the last 10 years.”

Alice Springs

Alice Springs had a patchy year, with the economy – driven by tourism – enduring some buffeting from the high dollar. Kilian says that things are looking up.

“Alice is a bit of a cyclical place, but it’s still a vibrant town. There are very few vacant stores compared to 12 months ago and a lot more retail activity happening again.”

Kilian highlights the progress on the new suburb of Kilgareth as a development to watch.