Buyers warned against waiting for market bottom as Darwin property sets for a rally

Media release - 20th March 2015

Rental vacancy rates in Darwin are nudging 6 percent, which is causing some concerns for existing landlords in Australia’s northernmost capital city.

“Typically vacancy rates in Darwin stay close to 3 percent, therefore with occupancy rates falling, the advice to landlords is to try and lock in existing tenants where possible,” said Glenn Grantham, General Manager, Raine & Horne Darwin.

“In this market, try not to give your tenants an excuse to look at other properties, which means maintaining a reasonable weekly rental price.

“However if your tenant moves, and you’re forced to go to market to find a new occupant, then expect to decrease the current rent by as much as 10-15 percent to attract a new renter.”

That said, in a relatively small property market such as Darwin, which has a pool of around 40,000 properties only, the balance can very quickly tilt back in favour of property owners and landlords, especially when more workers converge on the city to support the next stage of the Ichthys Inpex LNG project.

“In most other capital cities in Australia, the property markets run on five to seven year cycles.

"However in Darwin, the property clock ticks through the cycles much faster – and market conditions can vary depending on the time of the year, whether it’s the wet or dry season and prevailing economic and employment conditions,” said Mr Grantham.

Faltering rental conditions are being mirrored in the sales market too, although Mr Grantham warns against trying to pick the bottom of the market.

“Unless you have access to a fully-functional crystal ball, picking the bottom of the market is usually close to impossible. At the same time, if you wait too long, the chances are you will buy only once prices start to push back up and then you’ll be too late,” he said.

“Unquestionably, it’s a buyers’ market now and there is plenty of value in Darwin and Palmerston real estate for shrewd investors and owner-occupiers.”

In Darwin, Mr Grantham nominates Alawa as a hotspot for buyers with an eye for value, along with Moulden in Palmerston.

Alawa is a northern Darwin suburb, which is 12 kilometres from the CBD. It is also very affordable with three bedroom family homes available for sale for less than $600,000. 

For example, Raine & Horne Darwin has listed a custom-built three bedroom family home at 4 Arthur Street, Alawa for $595,000.

“Packed with plenty of features this family home is built on a 833 sqm block, and comes with a renovated bathroom, modern kitchen and an expansive deck, which overlooks an established garden and plunge pool,” said Mr Grantham.

“It is also situated on a quiet street in the sought-after Alawa precinct and is an easy walk to the local shopping centre, schools, Charles Darwin University, Casuarina Square and public transport.”

In Moulden, four bedroom, one bathroom family homes, built on generous blocks, will tick many boxes with buyers according to Mr Grantham.

To illustrate, Raine & Horne Darwin has listed a solid four bedroom family home built on an 800 sqm block at 2 Port Mar Street, Moulden for $450,000.

“For buyers, it’s a great time to secure a quality, well-located property in Darwin and Palmerston as there are plenty of motivated sellers, who are prepared, within reason, to negotiate on the asking price.”


For further media information contact:

Glenn Grantham, General Manager, Raine & Horne Darwin on 0418 803 222

Andrew Harrington, National Communications Manager, Raine & Horne on 02 9258 5400