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Northern Territory Real Estate Market & House Prices

The Northern Territory is a fascinating and unique part of Australia. With a population of just over 246,000, it is the country’s least populated territory. However, it is also one of its most diverse and dynamic regions, boasting a thriving property market, with strong growth prospects in many areas.

Northern Territory has several major real estate markets. These include the Darwin residential market, the Palmerston LGA market, and the Alice Springs market. Among the 3 regions, Darwin residential market is seeing strong demand from investors. This is due to the high population density and the availability of a wide range of housing options.

The Territory’s housing market is quite affordable, which is great for those who are looking for a low price reprieve. House prices are also relatively stable, making it an ideal place to start a real estate investment journey.

Darwin (also known as Top End) is the northernmost region of the territory and includes the Darwin LGA. The region is known for its tropical climate, with hot, humid summers and mild winters. The Top End is home to the majority of the territory’s population and is a popular tourist destination.

The Alice Springs LGA is located in the central part of the territory. The region is known for its arid climate, with hot summers and cold winters. Alice Springs is home to the territory’s mining industry and is less populated than the Top End.

The Northern Territory’s economy is dominated by the mining and petroleum sectors, with tourism and agriculture also playing an important role. There are several ongoing top-quality infrastructure projects that aim to urbanise the territory and improve connections between major regional hubs.

If you’re thinking of investing in the Northern Territory, it’s important to do your research first. The market here is less dense than on the East Coast of the country, so there’s a lot of opportunity for investors, however data-driven market due diligence is a must before moving on with property search.

The heatmap above displays the yearly rate of house price change in Northern Territory, with darker blue indicating higher growth and lighter blue indicating lower growth. To view an alternative perspective, the Lower Risk view of the heatmap can be toggled, shading areas with lower risk more prominently.

A Risk Score, ranging from 1 to 100, is a metric that takes into account various risk indicators such as environmental, market, and data to assign a score. A higher score reflects a lower risk. Learn more about HtAG’s property market risk criterion here.

Unlock powerful features such as suburb-level heatmaps, capital growth, and cashflow rankings of areas when you sign up on the Professional Plan.

Snapshot of Key Metrics & Market Comparison Table

We start with a snapshot of the Northern Territory market that provides an overview of key real estate metrics. The data in this snapshot illustrates typical price, median rent and gross yield metrics for the territory.

Use the Houses/Units toggle buttons below to view the market snapshot for different property types in Northern Territory. Houses are free standing houses (excl. townhouses and villas). Units are apartments, studios, flats, units (excl. unit blocks).

Buy 

2BR

3BR

4BR

5BR

Rent 

2BR

3BR

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Yield 

2BR

3BR

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Buy 

1BR

2BR

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Rent 

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Yield 

1BR

2BR

3BR

You are able to drill down to LGA-level data and charts which visualise these 3 key metrics as well as other important indicators in the table that follows.

Enable additional columns in the table by clicking on the buttons underneath it. Toggle between LGA and Suburb views in the table’s navigation bar. The data in the table represents key real estate metrics as of the current quarter and is updated on a monthly basis i.e. 3 times per quarter.

Clicking on an LGA or Suburb links in the table will take you to the relevant LGA page where you can drill-down to the next level of data.

NT House Prices

The house prices in the Northern Territory have seen some peaks and throughs over the past 10 years. The typical house price in the Northern Territory in 2014 was almost $600K and declined to the trough of almost $500K in 2019. The prices have been on the uptrend since then.

The interactive chart below shows typical price for both houses and units as well as the sales volume per quarter. Toggle additional views of prices per number of bedrooms by clicking on BR2, BR3 etc underneath the graph. You can also drill down to LGA charts using the dropdown in the chart navigation bar.

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NT Rental Prices

Similar to house prices, median weekly rent prices in Northern territory peaked in 2014 . This was followed by a decline to a local low in 2019. There is a sign that rent prices for houses will stabilise in the short term.

Use the interactive chart below to explore the rental prices in Northern Territory in detail.

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Gross Yield on Investment Properties in NT

Gross yield is the percentage of the purchase price that the investor receives in income each year. In the Northern Territory, gross yields for property investment ranges from 3% to 9% depending on the location. Lower priced suburbs typically offer higher yields. However, there are exceptions to this rule.

Explore the chart below to visualise the gross yield trends for NT LGAs in detail.

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The high gross yield on residential real estate investment in the Northern Territory is largely due to the relatively low typical price, which makes it a more affordable option for investors. However, it is important to note that the Northern Territory is also a much smaller market than the other states and territories, so it may not be as viable an option for investors looking for a larger property portfolio.

NT Property Type Demand Profile

The Northern Territory has a wide variety of real estate markets, from small, rural towns to larger, metropolitan areas such as Darwin.

There is a great variety of property types. This includes, but is not limited to, detached houses, townhouses, units, apartments, and commercial properties.

As far as residential property market is concerned, the most in-demand NT real estate are 3 and 4 bedroom houses, followed by 2 bedroom units. The units are dominant in Darwin and Alice Springs, whereas other LGAs are mostly rural and have 3 and 4 bedroom house preferences.

Use the chart below to understand which property types have the highest demand in Northern Territory real estate market.

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Generally speaking there is a high demand for rental properties, especially in the larger cities like Darwin and Alice Springs. This means that investors can achieve good returns on their investment properties.

The Northern Territory is a large and diverse area, so the property people search for vary depending on the location. In Darwin people often search for units that are close to the local amenities and schools. In rural areas, people often search for houses on large plots of land that have plenty of room for horses, cattle, and other livestock.

Whilst many east coast buyers are now opting for smaller, more affordable homes rather than larger properties, NT home buyers still prefer larger blocks with family homes.

NT Buy & Rent Search Index

It is becoming increasingly common for people to search for homes online before actually viewing them in person. House search trends vary depending on the location and demographic of the area in question.

The chart below illustrates the trends for “buy” and “rent” online searches in Northern Territory. You’ll notice that there are more searches for rental properties than properties for sales. The searches peaked towards the end for 2020 and have since returned to average historical levels.

The black lines on the chart highlight the search index, which is calculated by apportioning the LGA “buy” or “rent” searches to the state average.

The overall search index for NT is calculated as an average of all LGA indexes. It has historically hovered between 3.0 and 3.5 for houses which is lower than the index in more populated and economically developed states in the country. Notably the search index for Northern Territory units is somewhat higher than that for houses, hovering between 3.5 and 4.0.

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NT Market Growth Rate Cycles

The Northern Territory property market has entered the growth phase in early 2020. The market has been performing well since then, with house prices and rents increasing. The market is expected to continue to grow in the short-term.

The chart below illustrates the year on year changes in NT property prices. We can see that the NT housing market was in decline between 2015 and 2019, with house prices in some LGAs dropping by as much as 7% in 2018.

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Confidence: High, Medium, Low

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The Northern Territory property market is one of the most diverse in the country. Property values in the territory can experience significant swings in value, depending on the location and the type of property.

The market goes through booms and busts that are much more pronounced than in other parts of Australia. The reason for this is twofold.

Firstly, the Northern Territory is a much smaller market than the states on the east coast of Australia. This means that a small change in demand can have a big impact on prices.

Secondly, the Northern Territory is a much more isolated market. This means that it is less affected by outside factors such as interest rates and the global economy. The Northern Territory property market growth cycles are therefore much more volatile than in other parts of Australia.

Ratio of Renters to Owners in NT LGAs

The importance of having more owners than renters in a property market is that it gives people a sense of stability. Owners are incentivised to maintain their property and contribute to the community, increasing the appeal of the neighbourhood as a whole.

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When the majority of people in a community are renters, they are less likely to invest in the community. This is because they are not likely to be there for the long run.

As a rule of thumb, there should be no more than 45% renters in an area for it to be considered to have a good investment potential. Interestingly the overall percentage of renters in NT is at 47% which is just above the threshold. Renters are dominant in Alice Springs, Barkly.

Ratio of Units to Houses in Northern Teritorry

The Northern Territory property market is one of the most diverse in the country. Property values in the territory can experience significant swings in In the Northern Territory, Australia, the proportion of houses and units sold is split almost evenly between the two.

In the 12 months leading up to March 2018, just over half of all houses and units sold were houses, while the other half were units. This is a change from the past, when houses were more commonly sold than units.

The proportion of houses sold peaked in 2007, at 66%. Since then, the number of units sold has increased significantly, while the number of houses sold has decreased. The Northern Territory is the only jurisdiction in Australia where the number of houses sold has declined in each of the past four years.

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The Northern Territory’s housing market is in a very different position to the rest of Australia. The number of houses sold is declining, while the number of units sold is increasing. This is likely to have a significant impact on the overall property market in the Northern Territory.

It is important to have more houses than apartments (units) in a property market stock because it creates more diversity in terms of what property types are available to buy or rent.

As apartments within a building typically have similar designs it allows for more competition between landlords, which can drag the prices down.

As a rule of thumb the unit to house ration should be below 50%, but the lower the better. Markets with large apartment stock reduce the appeal of the housing stock in the market.

In Northern Territory, there are more houses sold than apartments. Darwin has the highest proportion of units to houses sold, so it’s important that property investors targeting houses, avoid Darwin suburbs dominated by large apartment blocks.

NT Property Market Socio-Economics

The people of the Northern Territory are also divided into different socio-economic groups. The most affluent people in the Northern Territory live in the Darwin area. The least affluent people in the Northern Territory live in the rural areas.

The Northern Territory is a very young territory. The median age of the population of the Northern Territory is only 31 years old. This is much younger than the median age of the population of the other states and territories of Australia.

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People in the higher socio-economic status are more likely to be able to afford to purchase and rent property in the area. This helps to increase demand for rental properties in the market and frequently attracts high-quality long-term tenants.

IRSAD stands for the index of Relative Socio-economic Advantage and Disadvantage. This metric provides a high level view of the socio-economic status of a property market.

Darwin and Alice Springs have the highest IRSAD scores in Northern Territory. The average IRSAD for NT is at 3 due to skew by many rural areas with lower socio-economic status.

The people of the Northern Territory are also very diverse in terms of their education levels. The most educated people in the Northern Territory live in the Darwin area.

Conclusion

The Northern Territory is a fascinating and unique part of Australia and is the least populated territory in the country. It is home to a thriving property market with potential growth prospects in many areas. House prices in the territory are generally low and stable, making it an ideal place to start a real estate investment journey.

The Northern Territory’s economy is dominated by the mining and petroleum sectors, with tourism and agriculture also playing a large role. There is high demand for rental properties in the larger cities of Darwin and Alice Springs, and people often search for larger houses with plenty of land in more rural areas.

Unlock the power of the Northern Territory property market through RCS™ from HtAG Analytics. Our single score applies multiple data points to reveal risks, capital growth prospects, and cashflow opportunities – all in a matter of seconds.

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More about Northern Territory Property Market

What infrastructure projects are currently planned for NT?


There are a number of infrastructure projects in Northern Territory, including the construction of new hospitals, schools, and prisons. The government is also investing in new transport infrastructure, including roads, bridges, and airports. You can find out more about these projects by visiting the NT Government website.

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