As affordability plummets, Australians are clinging onto their properties longer than ever. Here are the worst-offending suburbs.

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As affordability plummets, Australians are clinging onto their properties longer than ever. Here are the worst-offending suburbs.


Homeowners have shut the gate on the market

  • Homeowners are holding onto their homes for 3.8 years longer and apartments 2.9 years longer than they were a decade ago, new analysis by CoreLogic shows.
  • Victoria is the worst offender, home to the three suburbs with the highest house holding periods in the country. Interestingly, when it comes to apartments it’s also home to many of the fastest transacting suburbs as well.
  • Research analyst Cameron Kusher pointed to falling affordability and the rising cost of buying and selling property as the two key drivers of the trend — neither of which look like abating.

If you’re in the market but haven’t been able to find the property you’re looking for, it might be because no one is selling, and we’re not talking about low auction numbers.

A big factor could be that Australians are hanging onto property much longer than ever before, new analysis from CoreLogic has revealed.

Australia-wide, homeowners on average are clinging onto their houses for 11.3 years, 3.8 years longer than they did ten years ago.

Australia-wide, homeowners on average are clinging onto their houses for 11.3 years, 3.8 years longer than they did ten years ago.CREDIT:PETER RAE

Based on] the most up to date data, the average hold period has consistently increased since 2005 across both house and units nationally,” the property research house noted in a new report.

“The data suggest that homeowners are much more reluctant to sell their property than they were a decade ago which is also highlighted by the ongoing decline in sales transactions,” research analyst Cameron Kusher said.

Nationwide, homeowners on average are clinging onto their houses for 11.3 years, 3.8 years longer than they did ten years ago. The unit market is a little more flexible, with apartments being held onto for 9.6 years on average, marking an increase of nearly 3 years over the decade.

There’s a whole host of factors driving that increase, Kusher said, ranging from the rising cost of buying and selling property to declining affordability in some capital cities.

“It’s expected that this trend will continue over the coming years given such concerns aren’t likely to see much improvement in the near future,” he said.

The rising cost of transacting property has been one of the reasons commentators have been calling for stamp duty — the tax levied on home purchases — to be scrapped and replaced with a land tax. Affordability, on the other hand, had improved slightly with hefty price falls in the two most expensive cities, Sydney and Melbourne, but those losses appear to now have been halted as prices bounce.

READ MORE: Stamp duty has tripled in some Aussie cities since 2004 and this could be the perfect time to scrap the tax altogether

Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of Australia is widely tipped to continue cutting the official interest rate below 1%. While that may offer some stimulus to an Australian economy that could do with it, it will also help divert more money into the property market, potentially pushing up prices further.

READ MORE: The RBA could re-inflate a housing bubble with threats to cut interest rates further, economists warn

All of these factors lend themselves to pushing those averages even further up in the future.

For now, however, this is the lay of the land, according to the data.

The areas with the longest periods of homeownership

Melbourne and Sydney homeowners, for example, hold on to houses the longest at 12.5 and 12.4 years respectively. Perth apartments meanwhile only trade hands on average every 11 years.

Longest average hold periods


RankStateCouncil regionAverage hold period (years)
6QLD Hinchinbrook16
8NSWCanada Bay15.7
9VIC Banyule15.6
10QLD Blackall-Tambo15.6
13QLD Mount Isa15.3
15VICMoonee Valley15.2
16VICGlen Eira15.1
18QLD Banana14.9
19VIC Greater Dandenong14.8
20QLD Cassowary Coast14.8

Source: CoreLogic

Drilling down to specific suburbs, however, is where things become really interesting.

When it comes to houses, Victoria absolutely dominates the rankings, taking out ten of the top 20 spots for longest ownership periods.

In fact, Victorian suburbs dominate every single podium position. Monash in Melbourne takes out the gold, with homeowners only parting with their houses every 17.1 years on average. Queenscliffe and Whitehorse aren’t far behind at 16.6 and 16.2 years each.

Heading north of the border, the worst New South Wales result was the Sydney suburb of Hornsby (also 16.2 years). Interesting, the far North Queensland area of Hinchinbrook was the state’s standout with a 16-year average.

Units, on the other hand, were held longest in Western Australia, also sporting ten of the top 20 entries. Perth’s Armidale and regional Victoria’s Swan Hill tied first on 13.4 years.

These are the areas with the longest average hold periods (CoreLogic)

The areas with the shortest homeownership

If you’re looking for quick turnover, conversely, you better stay in WA. The vast East Pilbara, with around 6,000 residents and whole host of mines, palms off houses and units at the fastest rate in the country — 7.7 years and 3.8 years on average for each.

For houses, Queensland’s Cloncurry (7.8 years), Sydney’s Camden (7.8 years) and Victoria’s Cardinia (8.3 years) also get honourable mentions.

Shortest average hold periods


RankStateCouncil regionAverage hold period (years)
1WAEast Pilbara7.7
6NTUnincorporated NT8.3
7NSWGoulburn Mulwaree8.3
8VICBaw Baw8.5
9TASHuon Valley8.6

And the shortest (CoreLogic)

Source: CoreLogic

But it’s Victoria that surprisingly ranks high for units as well.

“Interestingly, the shortest average hold period list for units is dominated by Melbourne with 6 of the 20 council regions making up the unit list,” Kusher said.

Camden again ranks at just 5 years ownership. Tasmania’s Latrobe (5.2 years), South Australia’s Walkerville (6.7 years), and Victoria’s Mitchell (6.8 years) trail close behind

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CAAN Photo: Sydney’s northwest

This story first appeared in Business Insider: