Seabreeze, Darwin apartment block set for 2022 construction restart

Sunbuild stopped construction at the site in 2016

Seabreeze, Darwin apartment block set for 2022 construction restart
Seabreeze, Darwin apartment block set for 2022 construction restart

Work is expected to resume later this year on the Nightcliff apartment complex Seabreeze in Darwin.

The project stopped construction in 2016 given the ailing Northern Territory economy and a downturn in the apartment market.

Sunbuild has reportedly lodged a reapplication permit for the site on the corner of Progress and Dick Ward drives.

Sunbuild owner Neil Sunners has begun the process of completing the five-storey, 92-apartment development.

About a third of the project had been completed, the NT News reported.

Sunners said it had taken until now for confidence in the economy to return.

“I believe the time is right in Darwin to get going again, as the economy is stronger than a few years ago and confidence is continuing to grow,” Sunners told the NT News.

He expects it will take about eight months to complete with works likely to begin around August.

The project was first mooted in 2009

Darwin, which is a small town and relies on big oil and mining projects, has seen a weak apartment market.

According to the latest data from real estate firm Raine & Horne, the number of properties hitting the market for sale in Darwin is about 75% higher than the capital city’s historical January average.

Glenn Grantham, at Raine & Horne, noted there had been a surge of vendors releasing their properties for sale in January, "after many recognised last year had been very good for capital growth.”

In 2021, Darwin’s real estate values increased by almost 15%, its highest annual growth rate in many years.

"Many of the properties for sale are long-term rentals.

“Given the transient nature of Darwin’s workforce, plenty of tenancy agreements end at this time of year and rather than seeking to find a new tenant, the owners are deciding to put the properties on the market for sale
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“This decision makes plenty of sense as it is often more straightforward to show a vacant property to buyers than a home with a tenant.”

"Around 85% of buyers in Darwin are currently owner-occupiers seeking to a first home or to upgrade.

"If there is a lease in place on a property, first home buyers and upgraders will look elsewhere.

“We’ve even seen an increase in off-market sales to tenants.

“These off-market sales not only take the tenant out of the rental market but also take the long-term investment properties out too.”

“The silver lining is that a smaller pool of rental properties combined with strong tenant demand will push up investment yields in Darwin which is great news for investors.”

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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