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‘Covid-safe’ Darwin attracts plenty of interstate investor interest

Property values in Darwin have proven resilient over the last three months compared to other capital city markets, with Raine & Horne suggesting several factors have contributed to the result.   

“It is very encouraging Darwin’s property values are up nearly 2.5% over the last quarter,” Darwin Raine & Horne General Manager, Glenn Grantham said.

“But realistically, the only way is up when the market has been skating along the bottom.

“Also, don’t lose sight of the fact that our volumes are significantly smaller than other capitals. One or two major transactions can impact median values in Darwin and some of these contracts exchanged before lockdown restrictions applied.”

Mr Grantham continued that a shortage of listings due to Covid-19 also helped support values.

NT’s health record continues to attract interest 
On the demand side, Mr Grantham said the Northern Territory’s low infection rate of 0.4 per cent had caught the eye of interstate investors and downsizers. 

“Buying inquiries from interstate are much higher than earlier in 2020, but with our borders still closed, local owner-occupiers are dominating our sales transactions,” he noted.

Mr Grantham said the most popular property in May was an elevated, three-bedroom house at 21 Graham Street, Stuart Park, which is on the market for offers over $590,000.  

“We’re negotiating with three buyers, while 25 groups viewed the property by way of individual appointments in accordance with Covid-19 protocols. 

“The popularity of this property underlines the popularity of Stuart Park and other nearby northern suburbs such as Woolner and Larrakeyah, regardless of the prevailing market conditions.”

Negotiating border closures
Border closures are also impacting contract negotiations, advised Mr Grantham.

“We have an owner of a two-bedroom apartment in Parap, who hasn’t yet been able to make it back across the border to pack up his home.

“Once the owner returns to Darwin, he then has to self-isolate for two weeks in the apartment. 

“The sticking point for the buyer is the settlement date, which depends on the vendor negotiating with border control to let him back into the Territory. We are still waiting to see how this plays out.”

The capital city’s investment markets are also holding steady with median yields at 6 per cent and vacancy rates at 4 per cent, according to Mr Grantham. 

“With restrictions in place, people can’t move away from Darwin, and this situation is keeping our rental market steady. 

“Likewise, JobKeeper has helped significantly ensuring we’ve had minimal hardship requests from tenants.”

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