Why Invest in Darwin


“Northern Australia is well placed to capitalize on the significant economic, strategic and environmental macro-trends that will shape both the Asian and tropical regions,” said Abbott in launching his plan.

“No longer will northern Australia be seen as the last frontier, it is the next frontier.”




The Northern Territory boasts an abundant natural resources sector combined with a relaxing outdoor lifestyle, set amongst a world class infrastructure, in Australia’s lowest tax environment for business.

Darwin is also sitting on the edge of becoming Australia’s next wave of mining investment and Port of choice for agricultural exports to Asia, being only a 2 hour flight to Asia

The projects below are yet to attract thousands of workers and ongoing permanent staff to manage the facilities at completion phase … all require housing, placing immense pressure on supply.

 Darwin experienced the highest price growth in residential property during 2012, way above any other capital city across Australia …


The Northern Territory offers

  • A Resources sector which now includes the landmark $34 billion dollar INPEX gas project
  • Multi-billion dollar Marine Supply Base
  • Increased gold mining activity
  • Phosphate mine
  • Uranium mine
  • Iron Ore
  • Abbatoir


Geologists say the territory has abundant diamond, gold and uranium reserves and the Canada-based Fraser Institute, which measures the attractiveness and ease of mining, ranks the territory one of the best areas to invest in Australia.


These industries support a significant growth and provide a massive flow-on effect to all areas of business and investment within the Northern Territory.

Darwin is currently experiencing an abundance of buyers and a lack of sellers, demand is high yet supply too low forcing rental returns skywards.

Australian Property Monitors (APM) reported that Darwin again recorded significant rental growth over July through to September quarter of 2012

  • Median rentals for units was $530 pw representing a large 10.4% increase on previous quarter
  • Rental Yields on average are over 6%

Infrastructure Projects

Major oil and gas projects include :

  • $34bn Ichtys LNG project on Balydin Point
  • $5.4bn Darwin Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project on Wickham Point
  • 502km gas pipeline from Bayu-Undan gas field
  • $110 million Marine Supply Base at East Arm Wharf which will service oil and gas ships
    • And the expansion of the US military presence in Darwin
  • $55 million Darwin Industry Fuel Terminal to provide tank storage and related logistics for the oil and chemichal industries
  • $50 million Helium Plant exporting two thirds of its production to South East Asia






Property Indicators in Darwin

Ranking Number 1 on 4 key real estate indicators :

  1. Strong surge in Building Approvals up by 46%
  2. High number of Home Loan Applications increased by 18%
  3. High number of Investment Loans increased by 30%
  4. Darwin has the second highest median house price of any capital city after Sydney
  5. Tightest vacancy rate of capital cities being 1%
  6. RP Data predict Darwin to achieve higher than average capital growth figures


The price of dwellings in Darwin have reached double digit growth during 2012, figures may differ but essentially the outcome has been phenomenal.


Underpinned by :

  • Substantial ongoing population growth being around 120,000 now
  • High Employment Rate; almost 2% above national average weight
  • Employment growth rate running close to 3 times the national average
  • Increased demand on residential dwellings to own or rent
  • Substantial investment by Industry


Median Rents in Darwin average $650 pw for houses and $550 pw for units rising by over 16% on homes and 20% on units based on the high proportion of renters in Darwin.

This equates to an average of 6.2% rent on homes and 6.3% rental yield on units according to RP Data report of May 2013.

Median house prices rose 32% over the last 5 years in Darwin and unit values jumbed a massive 47% !

Although Darwin recently experienced a drop of 3.5% they are still up on a year on year percentage.

The REIA quote 12% growth in the residential property market during 2012 and RP Data quote 10% capital growth in the same period.  As stated, these returns are staggering and demand continues to suffer under duress of a lack of supply not being able to keep up with incredible demand.

Property commentators believe Darwin is still at the beginning of an upward cycle of property prices, with the prime catalyst being the $34bn Dollar Ichtys LNG Project + other significant investment into varying infrastructure projects, as mentioned at the beginning of this article.

The Northern Territory’s economy is sound and is certain to achieve continued positive economic growth on the back of these giant industrial projects.

Terry Ryder quotes on Darwin “It is likely to be the national leader on real estate performance in 2013”

Tony Abbott identifies the strategic potential that Darwin represents in natural resources, a port and close proximity to Asia … the Northern Territory will become a major player in the Australian Economy by 2030. Abbott says this new prontier plan would tap northern Australia’s proximity to Asia and benefit from the region’s economic growth. The city of Darwin, in the Northern Territory is closer to the Indonesian capital of Jakarta than Sydney is to Darwin.


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