Here is a copy of my Press Release discussing the state of the Darwin Marketplace – Front Page News!
With volumes and median prices down from the peaks of two years ago, it’s fair to describe Darwin as a buyers’ market, according to leading real estate expert, Glenn Grantham, General Manager, Raine & Horne Darwin.
Yet exchange of 132 contracts in eight weeks at the Zuccoli Aspire project in Palmerston, where land releases start from $116,000, prove that well-located, well-priced Darwin real estate will bring buyers out of the woodwork.
“In some sub-markets, sales volumes are down on their averages, while median prices have come back by around 7.5% and a bit more in some cases, which is to be expected given the strong bull market we had between about 2008 and 2013,” says Mr Grantham.
“Darwin real estate is a contrarian market. When southern real estate markets were wallowing in the GFC mire, the Darwin market was powering along.
“Now that Sydney, Melbourne, and to a lesser extent Brisbane, are motoring along, there is less money for Darwin real estate.
“Reports that the Inpex project was winding down late last year also didn’t help the cause for the sale of established homes and apartments in Darwin, with the news of major job losses wide of the mark.”
The good news for Darwin real estate, however, is that first home buyer activity is collecting pace.
“While overall market conditions are flat, there are buyers willing to transact, which is illustrated by the fact that we exchanged 132 contracts in eight weeks on the Zuccoli Aspire project,” said Mr Grantham.
“These are the best valued blocks in Darwin or Palmerston, sitting at roughly 330 sqm in size and selling for $116,000, which is about $70,000 cheaper than any land available in our region.
“These exchanges demonstrate that buyers are there, however activity is price point driven and it is very value oriented.”
Raine & Horne Darwin will release details of the next stage at Zuccoli Aspire in coming weeks, with strong demand expected from first home buyers.
“Zuccoli Aspire is tapping into the first home buyers’ market, as a lot of first timers are coming through with the $26,000 grant made available by the NT Government for those buying new properties or land packages,” said Mr Grantham.
“Zuccoli is also attracting people who were probably resigned to being long-term renters, because property values below $140,000 were as rare as hen’s teeth in Darwin, or they couldn’t find the quality at the price point that this land release represents.”
For those new to real estate or for those with established portfolios, Mr Grantham is confident that the long-term portents for Darwin are robust due to a significant number of non-mining infrastructure projects that are underway in Darwin, which will fuel local employment opportunities and real estate activity.
These projects include the Tiger Brennan Drive Extension project, which is the largest and most significant section of the $127 million East Arm Port Access Route, which is expected to improve traffic flow to East Arm Port and Palmerston.
“There are also the expansions at Casuarina Square, the new Gateway Shopping Centre and the Coolalinga retail precincts, not to mention land developments in Palmerston, the New Woolworths in Palmerston, as well as extensions to Royal Darwin Hospital and the new Palmerston Hospital.
“These are all big projects, which have been committed to, and most importantly will employ thousands of local workers,” said Mr Grantham.
“Projects such as Inpex always have a large element of fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) workers, who didn’t actually do much for the Darwin economy, or buy or rent local properties.”