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Darwin property market poised for major growth

Double-digit property price growth is tipped for Darwin in 2024, with one expert forecasting a return to the dizzying heights of 2012.

Raine & Horne Darwin General Manager Glenn Grantham said this year had been relatively calm in the Northern Territory capital, but with a number of significant infrastructure expected to take off next year, he said the market would surge.

He said the growth was likely to be similar to what happened when resources giant Inpex, and its $30 billion Ichthys gas project, fueled unprecedented growth in the real estate sector in 2012, including values jumping as much as 6.5 per cent in July of that year alone.

“Next year promises greater job availability due to a multitude of infrastructure projects either continuing or coming online,” Mr Grantham said.

One of the biggest projects will be the Department of Defence joining with the US Government to spend a touch over $6 billion on 25 defence projects as the Top End comes into focus as a regional defence and security hub.

This investment is set to create 7640 jobs.

There is also the Santos $5 billion Barossa gas project, while the NT Government also expects 250 jobs will be created at the peak of construction for the Ship Lift Facility.

“We also have the CBD campus of Charles Darwin University fast approaching completion that will bring students and staff from far and wide to Darwin,” Mr Grantham said.

“These projects in combination coupled with the significantly higher wages paid in the Northern Territory, are anticipated to generate the necessary population growth required to turbocharge real estate market growth in Darwin.” 

Mr Grantham said based on the Inpex period, a potential surge in values in the range of 10- 15 per cent over the next 12 months was possible. 

“However, considering Darwin’s unique market dynamics and historical precedents, we also acknowledge the possibility of exponential growth, even up to 50 per cent in 2024 in line with what we saw a decade or so ago is possible.” 

Mr Grantham also acknowledged the influence of previous experiences, notably the growth driven by Inpex around a decade ago, which has fostered a sense of caution among investors in 2023. 

“However, as numerous significant projects are nearing their conclusion, the investor demand bucket is overflowing,” he said.

“What we require are tangible indicators in early 2024 of population growth propelled by the infrastructure boom and investors from southern states will begin purchasing Darwin real estate in larger quantities.”

Mr. Grantham noted that due to Darwin’s small population of 160,000 in contrast to larger cities like Sydney, with 5.3 million inhabitants, even slight changes in confidence can significantly switch the dial on market returns. 

“The potential growth could surpass conservative estimates if all anticipated factors align positively,” he said. 

Mr Grantham anticipates heightened investor interest in the apartment market in the Darwin CBD and the housing market in northern suburbs such as Alawa, Jingili, Leanyer, Moil, Tiwi, and Wagaman as prospective hotspots in 2024. 

In the heart of the Darwin CBD, it is possible to secure contemporary two-bedroom apartments for less than $500,000. 

Meanwhile, three-bedroom entry level family homes in the sought after northern suburb of Alawa are on the market for around $600,000. 

“Additionally, Darwin’s consistent 7-8 per cent investment property yields will reinforce this city’s position as a reliable investment destination in 2024,” Mr Grantham said.

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Editor at Elite Agent.