Territory Stories

Territory economic review



Territory economic review


NT Treasury, Economic Analysis Division


Territory economic review; Department of Treasury and Finance newsletters; PublicationNT; E-Journals




Date:2003-03; Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).; This publication contains may contain links to external sites. These external sites may no longer be active.




Northern Territory -- Economic conditions -- Periodicals

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Northern Territory Government

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Northern Territorty Government

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MARCH 2003 6 TERRITORY ECONOMIC REVIEW www.nt.gov.au/ntt/economic Real Estate Vacancy Rates December quarter vacancy rates (houses and units) increased in all areas except Palmerston, which was steady. Nonetheless, with the exception of Alice Springs, where vacancy rates have been very low for the past couple of years, there has been a significant fall in vacancy rates compared to a year ago. The regional impact of the railways construction continues to be felt. Despite increasing by 3.2 percentage points, to 7.2 per cent, in the quarter, Katherine vacancy rates were under 10 per cent for 2002, well below the peak of 24.5 per cent in late 2000. In Darwin, vacancy rates for houses and units increased in the quarter, although house rates remain close to 6 per cent and with only a small increase in unit vacancy rates. At 4.9 per cent, vacancy rates in Alice Springs appear close to equilibrium. Darwin Real Estate Vacancy Rates (latest data December 2002) 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 Year ended June per cent per cent Houses and Units Units Houses Source: Real Estate Institute of Northern Territory Residential Building Approvals In original terms, there were 30 residential building approvals in the Territory in January, down from 80 in December. Trend approvals fell from a revised 74 (was originally 90), to 64. Lower approvals in the lumpy units category was the major cause of the fall. Nationally, January building approvals fell by 9.4 per cent in original terms and by 3.8 per cent in trend terms. In year on year terms, the number of Territory approvals has fallen by 8.9 per cent (to 1 039). Weakness in Territory approvals correlates with the oversupply of dwellings (reflected in vacancy rates) in the past few years. However, at the start of 2003 supply and demand are more evenly balanced, suggesting the housing stock surplus has largely been absorbed. Residential Building Approvals (latest data January 2003) 0 5 10 15 20 25 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 0 50 100 150 200 250 number ('000) number Australia Trend (LHS) Northern Territory Original (RHS) Northern Territory Trend (RHS) Year ended June Source: NT Treasury, ABS data Housing Finance for Owner Occupation During January, the number of owner-occupied housing finance commitments in the Territory fell in seasonally adjusted and original terms by 18.9 per cent and 30.2 per cent respectively. Trend commitments increased by 2.7 per cent. Year on year commitments are down 12.5 per cent, while nationally, commitments were static. The fall in commitments was across all categories (that is, construction of dwellings, purchase of new dwellings, and purchase of established dwellings). Owner-occupied housing finance is dominated by finance for the purchase of established dwellings, which fell by 31 per cent (to 226) following a strong December figure. Combined, construction and purchase of new homes fell by 7, to 28, in January. Housing Finance for Owner Occupation (latest data - January 2003) 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Year ended June $ million$ billion Northern Territory Original (RHS) Northern Territory Trend (RHS) Australia Trend (LHS) Source: NT Treasury, ABS data