Property in a previously unpopular capital city is showing signals indicating stronger growth, with one real estate network seeing private inspection numbers and sales surging over December.
According to general manager at Raine & Horne Darwin Glenn Grantham, the holiday activity in Darwin was surprising.
“We rarely have private showings over the Christmas break, yet we had requests for 18 different homes in Darwin between 24 December and 4 January,” he said.
“Most of the houses in the sights of buyers are in the popular northern suburbs of Darwin. Most of the buyers are locals, which partly explains the requests for private showings over the Christmas break.”
Mr Grantham said that buyer interest continued in the first weekend of January, with between three and four groups through every open for inspection.
“The highest open for inspection average we enjoyed last year was 1.8 groups per property, so the robust early-year activity bodes well for 2019.
“We even had groups of five through some properties, and every single property attracted plenty of attention through the front door.”
Mr Grantham added that while buyer enquiry to conversion rates are still subdued, many of the buyers are genuine.
“They are not tyrekickers and some buyers are waiting for the right property. However, in a small market such as Darwin, supply can plummet quickly and push prices up just as fast.
“If 50 per cent of the buyers we met at open homes last weekend committed to a property, we’d have no stock left on the market.”
Mr Grantham said that rental vacancies have plunged by 20 per cent over the past few months.
“There’s no doubt our yields in Darwin are very good, and the only way is up given falling vacancy rates.
“I’m surprised [that] with our healthy yields, we don’t have more interstate investors coming to Darwin in droves.”