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Post Easter investor surge expected for Darwin real estate market

February 28, 2024

Despite the challenges of Darwin’s wet season, Glenn Grantham, General Manager of Raine & Horne Darwin, anticipates a robust post-Easter sales period for Australia’s smallest capital city.

Mr Grantham stated, “Once the rain subsides and we move past the Easter holidays in late March, we expect a significant surge in buyer activity in April and May.

“We’ve seen a substantial increase in buyer enquiries in Darwin since the beginning of the year, surpassing last year’s numbers by approximately 20-25%, indicating that interstate buyers are poised to pounce.”

Mr Grantham said that yield-hungry investors are eying off average returns of 6.8%. “This is particularly attractive given the city’s affordable real estate market, where the median price of a house in Darwin, around $501,500, is approximately half that of a comparable house in Sydney.”

However, the current interest in the market is predominantly from local owner-occupiers, with only 10-20% of sales involving investors. 

“When our market is hot, approximately 40% of the transactions are influenced by interstate investors. However, the wet season is currently exerting an impact on decision-making. 

“As Darwin approaches the dry season in April, we anticipate a resurgence in demand for Darwin real estate. This renewed interest is set to be fuelled by numerous infrastructure projects scheduled to draw in workers to the Top End.”

Key projects such as Santos’s Barossa gas field, the return of crucial army divisions to Darwin from South Australia, the construction of the significant Darwin Ship Lift, and the completion of Darwin University are expected to boost demand.

Mr Grantham noted, “It won’t take much for the Darwin market to roar into action. It’s a dynamic market that is a fraction of the size of Sydney or Melbourne and can change rapidly.”

“Demand for properties can skyrocket overnight, turning a $300,000 investment into a rental income of $2,000 per week. It may seem unlikely, but with a population of only 140,000, such transformations are plausible.”

Mr Grantham identifies apartment markets in coastal regions and northern suburbs of Darwin as hotspots to watch in 2024, including Larrakeyah, Leanyer, Rapid Creek, Coconut Grove, Narrows, and Anula. However, he stressed that potential growth hinges on Darwin’s ability to attract population through employment opportunities.

“As the wet season officially concludes in April, the post-Easter period is anticipated to kick off a surge in real estate activity.“

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.