By Herron Todd White
July 2019

Finding a property worth a lazy $500,000 is becoming increasingly easier in the greater Darwin area, as a result of continued weakening market trends for almost four years now.

Across almost all areas of the Territory residential market, both median prices and sales volumes have repeatedly shown softening market conditions, with strong evidence we have almost reached the bottom of the market. Whilst these figures are obviously quite undesirable for vendors and homeowners looking to refinance, potential first homeowners are in an excellent position to enter into the market. Investors can also take advantage of weak market conditions as well, with rental yields still remaining some of the best in the country.

House/units/house & land packages are all areas that offer good opportunity for purchasers under $500,000. The NT Government are offering some of the most generous incentives in the country to build brand new dwellings across all locations.

First home owners from 7 May 2019 are eligible for the following grants:

  • $10,000 First Homeowner,
  • $2,000 for household goods grant,
  • $20,000 build bonus (available on first 600 dwellings),

There is also a stamp duty exemption up to $650,000. So, for a first home owner building a dwelling for $500,000 the total grant is $37,650. A huge incentive by any reports, noting it is 7.5 per cent of the total value at half a million. The sub-divisions in demand are North Crest & Zuccoli at these price points. In Katherine the Casuarina Street sub-division is on offer and further south to Alice Springs new homeowners are looking to Kilgariff.

Homing back into the Darwin CBD the opportunity to spend $500,000 provides fantastic opportunity for both investors & owner occupiers. The relatively weak unit market offers high-grade two-bedroom units for under $500,000, slightly older yet spacious three-bedroom units and towards the inner locations of Fannie Bay & The Gardens a good quality two-bedroom townhouse is on offer for under $500,000. The median price is still showing numbers in the red down seven per cent for the quarter and representing a near 20 per cent annual change to $330,000. It was pre-2008 since we have seen median prices at this level in the inner suburbs.

Darwin’s northern suburbs are the shining light within the market at present. Established dwellings are on offer for a good quality 1980s, three-bedroom, two-bathroom dwelling at prices under $500,000. This style of dwelling in Wulagi/Anula/ Leanyer is ready for walk-in-walk-out. There are quality family homes well serviced by schools, public transport and shopping centres, for the renovators looking at or around $500,000. Nightcliff is a sought-after beachside suburb where $500,000 will allow a buyer to secure an older home with “good bones” on a large allotment. Median values are slightly up in the northern suburbs, with the North Coastal region up 3.6 per cent year-on-year to $580,000 and North up 9.1 per cent to $492,000.

So, with $500,000 in the back pocket, Darwin – and the NT more generally – offer excellent opportunity for both investors and owner-occupiers. While the economy is experiencing a lull at present, that can turn around quickly with business confidence and a few projects.

Speak with a Darwin Mortgage Broker today.