Buying discounted property in Darwin, Australia's weakest capital city

Buying discounted property in Darwin, Australia's weakest capital city
Buying discounted property in Darwin, Australia's weakest capital city

Darwin was the weakest capital city for prices in 2017, according to CoreLogic.

CoreLogic's Tim Lawless believes Darwin's housing downturn is "entrenched" given prices have fallen by 21.5 per cent since May 2014.

But there is a silver lining for the Northern Territory capital as the substantial fall in values has pushed Darwin City rental yields higher.

Darwin's rental yields are 5.9 per cent, the highest out of all capital cities.

For Darwin, Lawless noted Darwin values down 6.5 percent during 2017.

Its rental prices were down too - by 1.5% over the year. 

Sales last year where vendors look a loss included a three bedroom, two bathroom 2003 apartment at $375,000. The Carey Street apartment had sold in 2005 at $399,000.

The rental estimate was given as $550 to $600 per week for the recently repainted apartment with leafy aspects from all bedrooms and water views from the balcony.

It sold through Rhiannon Oakhill and Karl Secondis at One Real Estate after 100 days on the market.

It has council rates of $1,395 per annum and body corporate fees of $2,560 per quarter.

A three bedroom, two bathroom apartment sold at around the same time for $400,000 was quickly snapped up after becoming available at $550 a week rental.

Situated in Vantage Point, with sweeping views across Frances Bay towards Bayview, a seventh floor apartment in White Tower, sold at $395,000, after three years on the market.

The rent was $650 per week with a DHA lease due to run until June 2017.

It was available for rent in July at $545 a week.

It had sold at $450,000 in 2005, so fell $55,000 in price.

There was a big price drop at 19/96 Woods Street, when a $450,000 sale was achieved for a 2009-built three bedroom apartment (below).

Buying discounted property in Darwin, Australia's weakest capital city

It sold off the plan at $466,000 then onsold at $560,000.

The rental asking price was $750 in 2013, then $650 in 2015, and then a $610 asking price in 2016. The selling agent, Stuart Rodda at Territory Real Estate advised the current tenant was paying $560 per week. 

At the prestige end of the market, a 320 sqm penthouse in the Arkaba complex sold for $1.25 million.

The 25/13 Esplanade offering had previously sold at $1.7 million in 2009. It had been on and off the market since 2014, at one stage rented out at $1400 a week.

The four bedroom penthouse had body corporate levies of $4,826.25 per quarter. The rates were $2,200pa.

There are currently around 185 units for sale in the 0800 Darwin postcode.

Offers over $700,000 are being sought for a two level 26th floor penthouse that sold at $785,000 in 2015.

With the growing demand for executive style living in a central location, the spectacular apartment was a hot pick for anyone working in the CBD, the FIFO worker or Defence personnel tenant, the Raine & Horne listing agent suggests.

A two bedroom 1980s unit last sold at $365,000 in 2014 that was seeking offers over $299,000 has been pulled from sale.

It was then available for rent at $280 a week, having been previously listed at $330 a week asking rent in 2016.

First National agent Michael Keith is offering what he has marketed as a long-term 5% net yielding property, "providing a genuine set and forget investment."

It is in the tightly held City Garden Apartments in the Darwin CBD which consists of 16 two bedroom self-contained serviced apartments.

The apartment is 70sqm in size on the 1st floor overlooking a resort style pool. The income was listed as $1,735 per month fixed for two years with 3% increase annually thereafter. There is a rent review every five years adjusted at 5% on valuation. There is an option for three additional five year rental periods. The council rates are $1,400 per annum and the body corporate fees are $500 per quarter.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

Darwin Price Decline


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