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NT: The State Of The Market – August 2018

This month has been a busy one for me, in particular with lots of events surrounding the discussion
of opportunity and population in the NT. It is a hot topic at the moment, how do we get people to
come to Darwin, work here, live here and stay? There are obvious benefits to the housing market
that go along with this, more people = more tenants. So, what are the proposals? What are the
plans? How does the Northern Territory plan to increase our population in what was predicted to
have a decrease of 0.7% this year?

The answer is not simple nor straight forward, having attended many discussion forums this month it
seems there are lot’s of strategies that are being implemented with no one fit suiting all. One
discussion point that is on everyone’s lips at the moment is employment opportunities. We are
seeing well known businesses in Darwin close their doors and shutting up shop on a weekly basis
now which gives a very grim impression. However, from what I have been hearing there is some
light at the end of the tunnel, we just need to weather the storm. Planned proposals for multi million
dollar jobs such as the $200M Darwin Luxury Hotel and another $120M in city deals, a pipeline of
major projects such as the $35M Darwin Port Redevelopment, Darwin Business Park and the $800M
Northern Gas Pipeline are expected to support the NT and help carry us through what appears to be
dwindling economy. At one such event, the question was posed to the Northern Territory
Government Treasurer “what is the time frame for these projects in your pipeline? When will we see
the effects on our local business’ and property market as a result of these major works?”
Unfortunately there is no direct answer for this, these proposed projects take time and complex
research and development to get them off the ground but rest assured they are at the fore front of
the NT Governments mind.

You may have noticed recently a new Northern Territory Government campaign titled “Boundless
Possible”. This clever piece of marketing has been designed to attract people to the NT from all
corners of Australia and even further afield. There seems to have been some mixed feedback in
public domains about this campaign but as Territorians and home owners/business owners in the
Northern Territory it is our job to get behind this campaign, to show people the opportunities the NT
has to offer. For me, it is easy to back a campaign like this, the growth opportunities I can see every
day in Darwin excite me, despite the fact that those who know me would describe me as quite the
pessimist but if you search for opportunity and look where no one else is looking this is the type of
environment you will thrive in.

What about the Darwin housing market? We have seen vacancy rates rise in Palmerston alone to 8%
this quarter which is a scary number, the median house price in Palmerston for a standard 4
bedroom is now down 3.6% on last year while the median price for a 3 bedroom unit in Darwin city
is also down 3.6% in comparison to stats this time last year. In my opinion this is a direct result of
population decrease, for these numbers to change we need to see more people in the Territory. An
interesting point I learned however this month was that at the moment Darwin is occupied by more
tenants than home owners which in actual fact puts you as a landlord in a better position than
someone who is trying to sell their property in the current market place, in addition to this we
currently have more properties in the Darwin Region for sale than we do for rent also showcasing
how leasing although tough is a much more positive option at the moment.

At Ray White Darwin our focus is certainly on the positives and we are looking forward to seeing a
positive turn around for Darwin!

Kate Nolan
Business Development Manager
Ray White Darwin

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