Seemingly against the odds and market predictions, Darwin real estate continues to hold steady with owner-occupiers and interstate investors continuing to purchase local homes.
According to the latest figures by Raine & Horne, Darwin property values show no signs of significant falls, while rental vacancy rates also remain stable at 4 per cent.
Rental arears are only up marginally from 6-7 per cent, Raine & Horne noted, while just 3 per cent of tenants in Darwin have sought financial hardship rental reductions
“We were concerned in the current environment that financing commitments might be an issue for buyers,” Raine & Horne Darwin General Manager Glenn Grantham, said.
“But our concerns have been unfounded, and to date, not a single contract has fallen over. We are even meeting regular settlement timeframes.
“Also, quality, well-priced properties are still finding buyers reasonably quickly, whether it be through a private treaty sale or off-market.”
Raine & Horne Darwin found a buyer for a house at 80 Francesca Circuit Humpty Doo off-market in just three days this week.
“The five-acre rural property is under contract for a price in the $500,000s, which was spot on our expectations,” Mr Grantham said.
“We have been selling 8-10 properties a month at this time of year in recent times. By the middle of April, we have sold four properties. We are on target to hit our usual sales expectations.”
Overall, Mr Grantham said values are 2-5 per cent lower than where they’d usually be in a regular market.
“However, these minimal value reductions are well below the 20 per cent falls predicted by some market commentators.
“With values relatively stable and sales continuing to tick over, property markets in the Northern Territory seem relatively steady against the effects of the pandemic.”
Interstate buyers are still a significant factor in sales enquiries and are taking advantage of virtual technologies to conduct property inspections, Mr Grantham noted.
“Virtual inspection technologies are assisting the marketing of 80 per cent of sales listings and 95 per cent of our rental stock.”
Darwin’s rental market metrics are also steady with vacancy rates of 4 per cent, the same as earlier in 2020. Although Mr Grantham noted COVID-19 has directly impacted the rental market.
“We have recorded a 50 per cent reduction in new tenancies because border closures have kept interstate workers who usually move here for work at home.”
However, a 50 per cent reduction in tenant vacates has offset the fall in new tenancies.
“Border closures also work in reverse with many contractors who usually leave Darwin at this time of year staying put to see out the pandemic,” Mr Grantham explained.
“As a consequence, Darwin’s rental market is more tightly held than is usual for this time of year.”
“Overall, the effect of COVID-19 on our sales and rental markets in Darwin have been minimal compared to other parts of Australia.
“However, we are in unnavigated waters, and only time will tell. But for now, it’s steady as she goes for Darwin real estate.”