Darwin won't be setting the national property market on fire any time soon, but it is expected to see a recovery

Darwin looks to be in a position to finally stablish even as values continue to drop in the year ahead.

“Darwin’s doing okay – it’s a similar situation to what we’re seeing in Perth. Like Perth, the market’s not going to be on fire in terms of mining boom-type conditions. But it’s certainly a lot better than it’s been over the past three years,” says Nerida Conisbee, chief economist at REA Group.

“There are opportunities that seem to be good. The uptick is not going to be strong – it’ll be related to jobs and as the market starts to stabilise. So it’s not a market where you’re going to see 10-15% price growth over the next 12 months.”

Conisbee notes that the presence of the Charles Darwin University is a boost in this respect, as demand seems to be mainly for northern suburbs in the vicinity. Nonetheless, the southern part of the state is not slacking either – one area that’s heating up is the suburb of East Side, which is expected to record above-average price growth according to NAB Economics’ Q4 2017 Residential Property Survey.

“East Side has emerged as the NT’s highest-performing suburb. Properties are in high demand and among the fastest sellers anywhere in the NT,” states Gregg Harris, general manager of NAB Retail, NT.

“Median house values dropped 1% during the past year in East Side; however, [they] are up 14% overall over the past five years.”

Market remains down

Despite the improvement in its condition, Darwin could still have a tough couple of years ahead.

“Resource mining – resource investment in gas – is still falling away, and that’s impacting population growth, vacancy rates, prices,” says Angie Zigomanis, senior manager of residential property at BIS Oxford Economics.

“It went through a big burst of new dwelling construction as well of houses and apartments, mostly apartments. The rising construction is coming through, with population growth falling away, so the rental market’s still pretty tough, and falling fairly significantly in Darwin.”

With Darwin largely remaining the home of a transient population driven by the resource sector, it isn’t a place where an investor can play the long game and expect capital gain.


ROSEBERY: Outer-ring suburb reflects decline

Property values are falling in the suburb of Rosebery, situated 3km from Palmerston on the city’s outskirts.

In the 12 months to February 2018, houses prices fell by 8.3% while units dropped by a considerable 10.5% to a median of $352,772. This follows a negative trend reported since 2012. Rental rates also fell by nearly 7% (for houses) and 4.8% (for units), despite the high rental yields of 5.8% and 6.5% respectively.

Rosebery is surrounded by the suburbs of Woodroffe, Bakewell, Bellamack and Zuccoli, and is close to amenities like the Palmerston Shopping Centre and Frances Mira Mall. Rosebery residents have access to public transportation via Palmerston’s bus terminal.

Location: Rosebery is situated just 3km east of Palmerston City

Amenities: The suburb is near several shopping centres and a bus terminal