Housing sales as hot as the weather

The property market in the Northern Territory is continuing to gain momentum.

The announcement:

The Top End property market was as hot as the weather in the first quarter of this year with both sales and median price showing solid gains.

But when reading these statistics, readers should remember that while the gains are strong, we are coming off over 5 years of perhaps the most depressed property market the Territory has seen in decades, where we saw almost a decade of capital gains wiped away.

“The year started with a real flurry of buying activity,” said Mr Quentin Kilian, Chief Executive Officer of the Real Estate Institute of Northern Territory (REINT).

“The March 2021 Quarter saw a 10.8 percent quarterly increase in sales volumes, which was up a solid 51.1 percent from last year,” said Mr Kilian.

The median price of a 3-bedroom house also saw solid gains, up 9.4 percent in the quarter to come in at $547,000. “That’s a 16.4 percent boost from last year’s median”, noted Mr Kilian.

Palmerston had exceptional sales volumes with 115 properties sold – up 13.9 percent quarterly and up 62 percent annually. The Palmerston median price also lifted by 7.5 percent to $500,000, which was 17.6 percent higher than March quarter 2020.

Mr Kilian noted, “Alice Springs quietened a little this quarter but still showed a strong performance with 77 transactions”. This was up 71 percent annually. The median house price was $469,000.

The Unit / Townhouse market showed equally strong results to start the year with sales up by 4.3 percent for the quarter and up 43.3 percent annually. The median price of a 2-bedroom unit continued to climb, up 3.1 percent this quarter to $330,000, which is a 9 percent increase on last year.

Mr Kilian noted, “Palmerston had very solid sales in Units this quarter, up 29.4 percent for the quarter with the median coming up 30.6 percent to $320,000.”

Again, Alice Springs saw a quieter quarter for sales volumes, but did see a small increase in median price to $360,000.

Residential land sales continued very strongly in the March Quarter with blocks under 600sqm lifting by 128.6 percent for the quarter or 242.9 percent annually. The median price was reasonably steady at $191,000. Sales on blocks between 601 to 800sqm fell off slightly, but still recorded 300 percent more sales than this time last year. The larger residential block up to 2000sqm were also very popular with sales lifting by 62.5 percent in the quarter, which is 550 percent more than sold in the 2020 march quarter! The median price for the larger blocks also saw a gain of 23.5 percent.

“The rental market continued to perform very strongly for investors and landlords”, stated Mr Kilian.

Rents on 3-bedroom houses rose 6 percent in the quarter to $538.50 per week, which is an annual rise of 17.3 percent. Units were fairly static for March, moving up just 0.1 percent to $364.00 per week, however that is 10.3 percent up from March 2020.

Rental Yields relaxed a little in March but remained very strong at 5.1 percent for Houses and 5.7 percent for Units.

“We remain one of the best investor markets in Australia with the strongest rental yields of any Australian capital city, and the yields in Katherine and Alice Springs regularly exceed 6 percent”, said Mr. Kilian.

Vacancy rates have tightened again from December, coming back to 1.8 percent across Greater Darwin; 1.6 percent in Palmerston and 2.4 percent in Alice Springs. Unit vacancies in the Rural area have hit 0 percent.

Mr Kilian noted, “the start of 2021 has continued the pickup that began last year. While the buyer demand remains strong it will continue to take median prices back to normal levels.”

Mr Kilian also noted, “going forward, while I’m loathe to try and predict the market, the Territory is looking as some very exciting and major projects coming to fruition, which create jobs and stimulate the economy. So I don’t see the demand dropping off at any time in the near future.”

The 2021 March Quarter RELM (Real Estate Local Market) Report can be downlaoded from

Source: REINT News release

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