Darwin’s gas project heats up the property market

Darwin’s gas project heats up the property market

Posted on Monday, April 23 2012 at 3:23 PM

The Darwin property market has “definitely improved” over the past couple of months, according to Herron Todd White valuer Terry Roth.

Since the Inpex
decision was announced earlier this year, Roth believes confidence has seen a
dramatic turnaround and sales are picking up.

“All our
financial indicators show we’re in for a positive year,” Roth says.

“We’ve had a big
overhang of units in the CBD and that’s gradually starting to move. In Darwin
when one part of the market moves, all of it moves.”

Herron Todd White
believes vacancy rates also seem to be tightening and driving the investment
market forward.

According to RP Data’s
latest Home Value
results, Darwin had the strongest rental market across all
capital cities in the quarter ending March 2012.

The average
rental yield for an investment property is currently 5.7 per cent for houses
and 5.9 per cent for units. The median house price also increased by 4.3 per
cent to $520,000 and the median unit price rose 2.5 per cent to $378,500.

However, while
Roth says anything reasonably priced is now selling quickly, 2011 was a very
slow year.

definitely a lot more market activity than there was three months ago, but I’m
a bit concerned about the expectations we’ll see on huge capital growth,” Roth

“People just
aren’t going to move to Darwin if prices get much higher, although there’s a
lot of growth happening in the new Palmerston suburbs.”

The Inpex-Total
Ichthys project will produce 8.4 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG)
per annum.

At the peak of
construction, a workforce of nearly 3000 residents will be needed to build the
onshore facilities, which will include the LNG plant, a condensate plant,
product loading jetties and a 300-megawatt power station.

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