Regional NT Property Market Update April 2020

Alice Springs Property Update

In the lead up to the Northern Territory government election in August this year, there has been a major focus on the current situation regarding crime in Central Australia, with many locals believing it has worsened over recent months. It seems to be the hottest topic of conversation around town and on local social media platforms, apart from COVID-19 of course. People are asking the question regarding what impact (if any) this increase in crime might have on property values. Whilst there is anecdotal evidence of people leaving town because they have had enough of the increasing crime and other social issues, it has not become apparent yet that it has impacted on the property market. That is not to say it might be the cause of a downturn in the coming months. The other factor looming large as a real threat to the health of the local economy (no pun intended) is of course COVID-19. At the time of writing there is uncertainty about exactly how big the impact will be from this crisis.

Central Australia has long relied on the tourism industry as a major employer and revenue generator. With travel restrictions imposed already and the likelihood of more stringent restrictions to come, the immediate future of the tourism industry does not look bright. These restrictions could not come at a worse time, leading into winter, which is peak tourist season.

The longer term impacts of these events is difficult to forecast, however with a market that is already in a fragile state, it could prompt a downturn in values as people sell up and leave town or are forced into selling due to financial circumstances. With no significant capital growth being experienced in recent years, a sudden influx of properties being listed for sale is likely to create an over-supply.

The coming months leading up to August 2020 and beyond have the potential to shape the residential market in Alice Springs for years to come.