From the worst market to one of the best: Why house prices in Darwin have skyrocketed

PHOTO: House prices in Darwin have seen exceptional growth in the September quarter.

Darwin’s housing market has seen massive gains in the past year, as the Northern Territory capital’s economy has bounced back quickly after COVID-19-related lockdowns, with experts predicting prices will continue to rise.

September saw house prices rise by 6.6 per cent for the quarter to $539,463, according to Domain data. Only Hobart saw greater gains for the quarter (6.9 per cent).

For the year, Darwin house prices were up 7.2 per cent, a higher annual gain than Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane saw in the year to September.

“Darwin’s gone from the worst market in Australia to one of the best,” Real Estate Central NT director Daniel Harris said.

He said the city had seen an influx in demand for houses since late last year, which picked up after COVID-19-related restrictions ended there in May as other states, particularly in the south east, were slower to re-open or, in the case of Victoria, had second lockdowns.

Much of the demand was in the $650,000 and below sector of the market, which attracted government incentives, Mr Harris said.

The Territory Home Owner Discount allows home buyers who have not had a property in the NT for the previous two years to save up to $18,601 in stamp duty for homes under $650,000.

First-home buyers are also eligible for grants between $2000 and $10,000 for expenses including household goods and renovations, and all eligible people building in the state can take advantage of the Build Bonus Grant of $20,000.

Capital City Sep-20 Jun-20 Sep-19 QoQ YoY
Sydney $1,154,406 $1,141,097 $1,080,996 1.2% 6.8%
Melbourne $875,980 $876,097 $862,063 0.0% 1.6%
Brisbane $596,316 $594,173 $574,838 0.4% 3.7%
Adelaide $564,927 $549,574 $529,164 2.8% 6.8%
Canberra $817,810 $789,905 $745,004 3.5% 9.8%
Perth $534,336 $531,557 $521,911 0.5% 2.4%
Hobart $555,754 $519,705 $480,429 6.9% 15.7%
Darwin $539,463 $505,896 $503,214 6.6% 7.2%
National $811,966 $804,545 $776,144 0.9% 4.6%

Source: Domain