Territory Stories

Budget Paper No5 Northern Territory Economy 1998/99



Budget Paper No5 Northern Territory Economy 1998/99

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Tabled Paper 382


Tabled papers for 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT




Tabled by Michael Reed


Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.




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Nevertheless, the Housing Commission continues to manage a substantial share of the total housing stock 17% in Darwin, 19% in Alice Springs, 19% in Tennant Creek and 21% in Katherine. As a result, public housing represents 22% of the total housing stock in the Territory. This is far more significant than the 4-12% levels found in other jurisdictions. The reduction in public housing stock managed by the Housing Commission has been achieved through a number of strategies: direct sales to existing tenants, the disposal of individual dwellings on the open market and sales of complete blocks of units to developers. The Territory Government has also refined its HomesNorth suite of subsidised finance packages targetted to the lower end of the market. Current public housing policy targets the provision of public housing to low income earners, crisis accommodation, and Aboriginal community housing as well as housing for public servants in remote localities. The DHA actively provides housing for defence personnel, both as an owner, a developer and a lessee from the private sector. RESIDENTIAL BUILDING OUTLOOK Residential building activity is expected to remain strong in 1998-99 on top of sustained growth during 1997-98. The considerable increase in building approvals for 1997-98 is expected to generate a significant level of residential building activity in 1998-99. The most recent Indicative Planning Council projections are that commencements will reach 1 900 in 1998-99 - the highest level for fourteen years. It is anticipated that the demand for dwellings will continue to be driven by strong population growth, favourable investment conditions and investor confidence. The Asian crisis is not expected to impact on the demand for dwellings in the Territory in the foreseeable future. The current APIN program to relocate Army capacity to the Top End will continue until 2001. Hence, the prospect is that population growth and the demand for additional dwellings will remain strong for at least the next three years. APIN will peak in 1998-99 with the arrival of 1 200 people 500 personnel and their dependants. The expansion of the Joint Defence Facility outside Alice Springs requires the construction of at least 41 dwellings over 1998-99. This is expected to provide the majority of demand for new dwellings in Alice Springs market. The prospect for interest rates is very hard to predict. For some time now, both official sources and respected market commentators have proclaimed that interest rates will fall no further. However, home loan interest rates have continued to fall. These falls have occurred both as a result of cuts in official rates, and the higher degree of competition amongst providers of home finance. The big unknown is whether the Asian crisis will deepen and what impact this will have on the Australian economy. While interest rates do influence the timing of residential construction activity in the Territory, it is the ability of the Territory to generate employment and attract migrants that fundamentally drives the construction of additional dwelling stock. Regions in the Territory which are expected to experience considerable growth in residential building activity are those where the demand for housing is strong and the supply of land is not restricted by Native Title claims. Much of the growth is likely to occur in the developing suburbs of the Darwin Region - Rosebery, Bakewell, Durack, Gunn, Bayview Haven and Cullen Bay as well as, the as yet undeveloped, Stuart Park North. 68 Northern Territory Economy

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