Australia’s northernmost capital and boom town
Discover Darwin's Real Estate
Darwin is the capital of the Northern Territory and is the northernmost capital in Australia. Lying on the Timor Sea, it is a crucial gateway between Australia and Asia, and it has a very tropical climate with wet and dry seasons. Darwin has consistently been one of the fastest growing cities in the country and the economy is prone to boom-and-bust cycles. If you can get in on the property market at the right time, Darwin offers excellent returns.
Culture, History, and Business
The Darwin area has long been occupied by Aboriginal people belonging to the Larrakia language group. While the Dutch were the first Europeans to visit and map the region in the 1600s, it was the British who named Darwin Harbour in 1839 after famed naturalist Charles Darwin. The actual city wasn’t founded until 1869, after the Northern Territory had been established and was in need of a capital. A gold rush in 1875 attracted many settlers to the new city. In the 20th century, Darwin suffered two major catastrophes. The first occurred during World War II when the city was subjected to numerous air raids by Japanese warplanes. The second was in 1974 when Cyclone Tracy hit the city and destroyed 70% of its buildings.
Despite those setbacks, Darwin quickly rebuilt each time. Its proximity to Asia as well as its large protected harbor has turned it into one of Australia’s most important ports. Mining is a huge part of the local economy, as is tourism. Darwin is also home to significant military installations that house both Australian and American troops and which are important sources of employment for the city.
Real Estate Appeal
Real estate in Darwin, like the economy of the city itself, tends to go through periods of rapid appreciation followed by rapid declines. Values most recently hit a peak in 2014 before falling. Those declines have recently slowed and many investment analysts believe the real estate market may have finally hit its bottom. If that is true, now could be a good opportunity to get in on a market before the next boom cycle hits.
Additionally, Darwin is a major tourism spot. The city itself boasts many attractions, such as beaches, botanical gardens, and an attractive waterfront, plus it is famous for its nightlife. It is also the main base for tourists who want to visit many of the Northern Territory’s renowned natural wonders, such as Kakadu National Park and Litchfield National Park. As a result, there is healthy demand for short-term rental properties in the city for overnight visitors.
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