It’s been an extremely good year with annual average growth just a tick under 10%, but now the Darwin real estate market is taking a breather, according to Glenn Grantham, General Manager, Raine & Horne Darwin.
“Homeowners and investors have enjoyed a number of very good years, however values have steadied, which is giving buyers more chance to secure a well-priced, well-located home in Darwin,” says Mr Grantham.
According to Mr Grantham it’s about three years since the pendulum tipped in favour of buyers, and he attributes this state of affairs to the recent and pending settlement of a number of off-the plan properties, such as Central at 108 Mitchell Street, as well as the Cube, Avenues, Zen and the Soho developments.
“This represents about 200 – 300 new apartments priced between $400,000 and $850,000 that are in different stages of settlement, which is a significant amount of new stock for a small capital city such as Darwin,” says Mr Grantham.
“It’s also a significant when you consider that in any single month, we probably only sell between 250 and 300 properties in the Darwin CBD, the Darwin suburbs and Palmerston combined.
“The settlement of off-the-plan apartments has taken a fair whack of investors out of the market, as many would potentially be getting their finances in place to meet the conditions of settlement.”
The good news is that median prices haven’t taken a hit – and Mr Grantham attributes this to the relatively small pool of properties for sale at any one time in Darwin.
“At any time in Darwin and Palmerston combined, we probably only have 700 – 1,000 homes listed for sale – it’s such a small catchment compared to Sydney and Melbourne,” says Mr Grantham.
“Therefore the message to vendors is there are not multiple buyers, so be sensible about your pricing and listen to the market – with the help of your agent.
“And if you get a buyer for your property make sure you hold on to them, as it might take a bit more time to find another one.”
Away from the Darwin apartment market, Mr Grantham says that from 1 January, 2015, the first home owner incentivesi will be further skewed towards those buying or building a new home.
“To encourage the construction of new homes in the Territory, from the start of next year, a FHOG of $26,000 will only be available to first home buyers who enter into a contract to build or purchase a new home, or commence construction of a new home, on or after that date,” says Mr Grantham.
“This change to the scheme is undoubtedly aimed at getting more new buyers to consider the brand new Palmerston suburbs such as Durack Heights, Johnston, Zuccoli and Bellamack.
“While the grants will be tilted towards new buyers, there is still a window of opportunity for first timers considering buying an established home in an urban area to take advantage of the $12,000 that will be on offer until the end of the year.” More info on grants, click here.