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Flood hit northern Australia fails to dampen demand for Darwin real estate

March 19, 2023
  • Poor weather in March caused by fierce storms has failed to dry out demand for Darwin real estate.
  • Buyer demand is driving up the number of Darwin owners seeking property appraisals. 
  • Entry-level properties up to $2 million luxury houses are in the sights of buyers. 

The record-breaking rains that have caused widespread flooding across Australia’s Top End have failed to dampen Darwin’s real estate markets. 

According to Glenn Grantham, General Manager, Raine & Horne Darwin, investors from interstate along with locals are looking beyond the climatic challenges and are turning up in strong numbers to open homes. 

“The entry-level sales markets between $400,000 - $600,000 are holding up very well because of sturdy demand from local and interstate investors plus first-time buyers.”

Mr Grantham observed, “We are even seeing longer-term renters commit to the Territory by buying a first home,” Mr Grantham said.

For example, two long-term renters working as teachers purchased their current rental properties – four-bedroom houses in Rosebery, an outer southern suburb of Palmerston – for prices under $600,000.

“We were surprised about these sales as the properties seemed to appeal to investors. But the tenants have committed to the Northern Territory, and we have two new owner-occupiers.”

In the upgrader markets, Mr Grantham reports that listings are very thin. “We have a buyer with a budget of $2 million, and they just can’t find a Darwin property to buy. 

“However, the sweet spot for owner-occupiers is between $600,000 and $800,000. So, if you own a property in this price range and it ticks enough boxes, you’ll do very well in this market if you decide to sell.”

In February 2023, the data from Raine & Horne shows that savvy property owners agree with Mr Grantham with appraisals for Darwin property increasing by 16% in February compared to February 2022. 

Weekly rent hikes taking a breather 

After a record run of rental price increases driven by record-low vacancy rates, Mr Grantham reports that rents have eased in Darwin. 

“Rents for some properties are perhaps $10 a week cheaper than in November and December last year,” Mr Grantham said.

“There was a run on the purchasing of investment properties, and this supply has expanded the pool of vacant rental homes in Darwin. Also there appear to be fewer tenants turning up to open for inspections.”

Moreover, Mr Grantham estimates that around 35% of the property pool in Darwin are rental properties. 

“This probably is one of the highest ratios of rental properties to owner-occupied homes for any Australian capital city.” 

Mr Grantham added, “In January and February, we probably had about 20% more first time rental properties hit the market than for similar periods over the last five years. 

“At the same time, enquiries for rental properties are about 5% lower than in 2022.”

For all your real estate sales and property management needs in Darwin, and Palmerston or to find out about the auction process, contact Raine & Horne Darwin on 08 8941 8941.