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The Northern Territory (NT) property market finished strong in 2021 with record sales in the unit market propelled by robust demand and low supply.
Quentin Kilian, CEO of the Real Estate Institute of the Northern Territory (REINT) has given an overview of NT’s market performance for the Q4 2021: “The picture across the Territory is one of continued strong demand but the pressure is on the supply side, particularly as there is little new stock coming to market.”
Mr Kilian noted that the median price for units “was the strongest we have seen in years, jumping 2.6 per cent in the quarter to come in at $400,000”, making it 25 per cent stronger than the same quarter in 2020.
Greater Darwin smashed records with 18.7 per cent lift in unit sales for the December quarter, a giant leap of 113.6 per cent from the same period of the previous year.
The busiest market for units was Palmerston, which saw unit sales increasing by 63.4 per cent for the quarter, a massive 294.1 per cent increase over the previous year. Strong sales were also seen in Alice Springs, despite the median price falling 2.5 per cent to $312,000.
While slightly tamer than the unit market, the detached housing sector stayed strong - even with revenues down slightly. Overall sales in Darwin saw a 50 per cent lift from last year.
"The median price performed very strongly, moving up 3.0 per cent in the quarter to $592,500”, said Mr Kilian.
Palmerston performed exceptionally well this quarter, with 163 sales and a median price of $560,000, a lift of 9.1 per cent from the previous quarter. The median price in Alice Springs increased by 5.2 per cent to $510,000 this quarter.
Mr Kilian also highlighted strong activity in an “often overlooked” location - Tennant Creek, which “saw the median price of houses rise by 9.8 per cent to $290.000” in the December quarter.
The rental sector
Turning his attention to the rental market, the CEO noted that supply issues are beginning to resolve and that vacancy rates in Greater Darwin continued to improve this quarter, bolstered by a 0.8 per cent improvement to a vacancy rate of 2.7 per cent in the Greater Darwin/Palmerston region.
The vacancy rate in Alice Springs has also jumped by 1.5 per cent to a more balanced 3.0 per cent
While Katherine's vacancy rate is far tighter, at just 1.1 per cent - that’s an improvement from the 1.0 per cent previously reported.
According to Mr Kilian, "this has helped to see an easing of rents over the quarter with the benchmark median rent on a 3 bedroom house easing by 3.7 per cent to $567.00 per week and the benchmark median rent on a 2 bedroom unit coming back by 0.5 per cent to $421.00 per week.”
While a boost to supply has settled the potential surge of rental prices, he did note that yields in the capital remain high, at 5.0 per cent for homes and 5.5 per cent for units. Even higher are houses in Alice Springs with average house yields of 5.7 per cent and units at 7.0 per cent.
This bodes good news for renters and investors alike:
“Investors continue to be interested in the Territory due to the strong yields on offer, and that should bring more stock back into the rental market,” Mr Kilian concluded.
Property refers to either a tangible or intangible item that an individual or business has legal rights or ownership of, such as houses, cars, stocks or bond certificates.