Thursday, 28 April 2011

Stepping up the gas

A Northern Territory oil and gas supply industry worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year within ten years – that’s the picture being painted by Chief Minister, Paul Henderson. The business is currently worth about A$150 million a year.

And another bit of crystal balling comes from Access Economics who say that the Territory's economy will grow by 3.2 per cent this financial year. It would then would speed up next year and reach 5 per cent; and then run at 4.1 per cent until 2015 equal to Western Australia.

The boost will be primarily be driven by strong growth in engineering and construction activity through major projects, housing construction and international exports, says Northern Territory Treasurer, Delia Lawrie.

Access Economics argues that the Northern Territory economy is "all revved up with nowhere to go," because it is between major projects. Among the big projects waiting to get under way is the Kitan oil field off the Northern Territory coast.

Chief Minister Henderson says that up to ten floating gas platforms could be operational within a decade. A key element of preparing for the gas-fired economic revolution is the setting up of the Marine Supply Base at East Arm.

The NT Government has earmarked  A$5 million towards the base in the upcoming Budget, which will partly be used to assess tenders by three big consortiums to establish and operate the base.

Prepared by Bob Woodward & Associates: offering you business consultancy, accounting, payroll administration and ancillary services in Darwin; The Northern Territory, Australia

Darwin residential property – has it peaked?

Are residential property prices weakening in Darwin? That’s the opinion of some real estate dealers. But others are pointing out that Darwin prices are still high when compared with the median price of homes in other capital cities around Australia.

The current median price for a house in Darwin stands at A$461,000, while for a unit it is A$385,000.

Darwin’s residential housing market enjoyed growth from the start of this century and continued through until until late 2009,  but there are currently all the signs of the city’s boom-time house prices making a correction.

The growth in prices had been caused partly by high local construction costs, land shortage, a strong economy in the Top End and low interest rates.

But new subdivisions of Johnston, Bellamack, Zuccoli and Mitchell in Palmerston are set to add an additional 3,700 new allotments to the market – which some say will lower some house values in the area. Houses in Rosebery that were selling for $650,000 a year ago are now being put on the market at around $600,000.

The NT Government has stated that around 15 per cent of the Bellamack lots, with a mixture of single dwelling and medium-density lots, will be retained for affordable and social housing.

So has Darwin become a buyers' market? Some sellers argue that the Darwin residential real estate market has peaked. In some areas, maybe. But property on the fringe of Darwin CBD is still fetching good prices.
And a footnote to all this is that three Top End homes have made it in to the top 25 most expensive homes sold in Australia, according to RP Data.

The Northern Territory's most expensive house, located in Larrakeyah, sold last July for just over $3.3 million. Another Larrakeyah home went for for $2.9 million last September, and a house in Knuckey Lagoon sold for $2.6m in April.

Prepared by Bob Woodward & Associates: offering you business consultancy, accounting,payroll administration and ancillary services in Darwin; The Northern Territory, Australia