Darwin Market Records Strong Growth | Kanebridge News
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Darwin Market Records Strong Growth

Sales volumes and median prices on the rise in the N.T

By Terry Christodoulou
Thu, Feb 18, 2021 12:35amGrey Clock < 1 min
The December quarter saw the Darwin property market enjoy a spike in sales volumes, up more than 20 per cent alongside rising median property prices.
A new report from the Real Estate Institute of the Northern Territory (REINT) detailed the state capital’s strong end to 2020, with ascendent median house and unit prices. 
According to the REINT’s ‘Real Estate Local Market (REALM) Report’, the median price of units outpaced that of housing, up 6.7 per cent against the 4.2 per cent rise in the median price of detached dwellings.  
Growth covered wider Darwin except for the north east. The current median house price in the city is now $500,000, with units at $320,000.
Elsewhere, Katherine saw a surging 73.7 per cent rise in sales volume, with Tennant Creek up 50 per cent and Alice Springs continuing its move along a robust growth corridor, up 36 per cent.

“While it is far from the peaks of 2014, this has been the most positive year in over half a decade and bodes well for continued growth into 2021,” said REINT chief executive Quentin Kilian.

Median rents also increased in the Greater Darwin Area by 6.9 per cent (houses) and 6.6 per cent (units), with rental yields strong for the investor set – house yields rising to 5.3 per cent and unit yields steady at 5.9 per cent.

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Amid looming rate rises, there are reasons to be cheerful as mortgage holders head into 2023

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Mortgage holders should brace themselves for more pain as the Reserve Bank of Australia board prepares to meet tomorrow for the first time this year.

Most economists and the major banks are predicting a rise of 25 basis points will be announced, although the Commonwealth Bank suggests that the RBA may take the unusual step of a 40 basis point rise to bring the interest rate up to a more conventional 3.5 percent. This would allow the RBA to step back from further rate rises for the next few months as it assesses the impact of tightening monetary policy on the economy.

The decision by the RBA board to make consecutive rate rises since April last year is an attempt to wrestle inflation down to a more manageable 3 or 4 percent. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that the inflation rate rose to 7.8 percent over the December quarter, the highest it has been since 1990, reflected in higher prices for food, fuel and construction.

Higher interest rates have coincided with falling home values, which Ray White chief economist Nerida Conisbee says are down 6.1 percent in capital cities since peaking in March 2022. The pain has been greatest in Sydney, where prices have dropped 10.8 percent since February last year. Melbourne and Canberra recorded similar, albeit smaller falls, while capitals like Adelaide, which saw property prices fall 1.8 percent, are less affected.

Although prices may continue to decline, Ms Conisbee (below) said there are signs the pace is slowing and that inflation has peaked.

“December inflation came in at 7.8 per cent with construction, travel and electricity costs being the biggest drivers. It is likely that we are now at peak,” Ms Conisbee said. 

“Many of the drivers of high prices are starting to be resolved. Shipping costs are now down almost 90 per cent from their October 2021 peak (as measured by the Baltic Dry Index), while crude oil prices have almost halved from March 2022. China is back open and international migration has started up again. 

“Even construction costs look like they are close to plateau. Importantly, US inflation has pulled back from its peak of 9.1 per cent in June to 6.5 per cent in December, with many of the drivers of inflation in this country similar to Australia.”

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