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Sales surge in Darwin as market makes strong return

By Tim Neary
Aerial photo of Darwin

The Darwin real estate market is formally on the rebound, with the latest data from the Real Estate Institute of Northern Territory (REINT) showing significant sales growth in the June 2017 quarter, according to one of the territory’s leading networks.

Raine & Horne Darwin said that the improvement in the region has been substantial.

General manager Glenn Grantham added that the growth in the last year has been “double-digit”, demonstrating that confidence to the market is returning. 

REINT’s June 2017 Northern Territory – Real Estate Local Market Report (RELM) shows that residential house sales increased in Greater Darwin by 3.9 per cent in the June quarter, up by 15.9 per cent compared to last year. In addition, the median house price increased by 1.9 per cent to $540,000 for the quarter.

Inner Darwin led the recovery, with a remarkable jump of 57.1 per cent in sales. The Darwin North Coastal region also recorded an increase, but at a more sedate pace of just 6.2 per cent.

Unit sales performed well too, with volume up by 16.8 per cent for Greater Darwin, where the median price rose by 9.3 per cent. Inner Darwin led the way also, with volumes up by 44.8 per cent, and the median price up by 17.2 per cent.

Away from the capital, Palmerston house volumes slipped by 2.5 per cent, although they remained at 23 per cent up year-on-year. In Alice Springs, house volumes increased by 18.3 per cent for the quarter, and 47.9 per cent for the year.  

Mr Grantham said that there is evidence that some of the sales activity in Darwin is being generated by bargain hunters.

“However, there are some buyers who need to be mindful that the Darwin market is improving and they need to be realistic with their offers,” he said.

“Investment yields are still strong, especially when compared to other capital cities.”

Houses are returning 4.7 per cent on average, with units returning 4.0 per cent. In Alice Springs, house yields are up by 0.8 per cent to 6 per cent, and unit yields increased by 1.3 per cent to 6.8 per cent.

“Interstate investors have been critical in driving up activity in Darwin in the past, and we are starting to see some early signs that southern state buyers have this market in their sights again,” Mr Grantham said.

“We have had one Sydney investor who has made offers on numerous entry-level properties valued below $300,000. He is a financial planner and he is investing in Darwin based on our stronger yields compared to Sydney.”

Mr Graham also said that entry-level properties in inner-city suburbs such as Stuart Park, Parap or Fannie Bay are achieving yields as high as 7.5 per cent. 

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Sales surge in Darwin as market makes strong return
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