This article was first published byBy Avani Dias on 24 Sept 2016 via abc.net.au | Image: PHOTO: Glenn Chandler is struggling to sell his tropical, open-plan home in Darwin. (ABC News: Avani Dias)
Darwin locals trying to sell their properties are feeling the pinch of a depressed housing market as the volume of sales reaches an all-time low.
Some have been forced to leave the market altogether.
Glenn Chandler’s tropical, open-plan house in Darwin’s northern suburbs has been on the market for more than a year and has had just six enquiries.
“When we moved in it was only a couple of years before Cyclone Carlos knocked it over entirely, so we had to build it from scratch … and that was a good four-and-a-half years ago,” he said.
“It’s been on the market for a good year, year-and-a-half, but not actively.
“We don’t have an agent, we just have it up online which tends to be largely pretty useless.
“I’ve been told that in a depressed market that’s what you expect.”
New figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show Darwin house prices fell by 2.4 per cent in the June quarter, and by 6.5 per cent in the past 12 months.
Darwin and Perth were the only capital cities to record falling prices, while all other cities rose both in the June quarter and last annual period.
Properties taken off the market
Anne Clifford has lived in Darwin for more than 40 years and has just taken her inner-city Darwin apartment, in Larrakeyah, off the market.
“My apartment’s been on the market on and off for the last two-and-a-half years, I had it with an agent for three months and didn’t get much interest at all,” she said.
“Certainly didn’t get any offers that I liked so I just decided it wasn’t worth just throwing it away because the prices have dropped $50,000 to $100,000 in the last three years I think.
“In 2010, it was actually valued by a proper valuer for $620,000 and we had it on the market for $550,000 this time.”
Ms Clifford said she would wait for the market to improve.
“I’m not going to rush into selling it because I just don’t think the market’s right, but I’ve been in Darwin 40 years and there’s a lot of ups and downs and I know Darwin will pick up and it will get better.”
Times have also been tough for real estate agents who have needed to adapt to stay active in the volatile market.
Agent Dale Walker said she had to consolidate her business.
“We did provide a sales service as well as property management, and with both markets being as tough as they are, I needed to make the decision to consolidate the business and focus on the core which was property management,” she said.