australian home owners held onto homes for over two decades
Some suburbs saw homeowners hold onto their property for over twenty years. Image: Canva.
  • Houses in Clarinda were held for an average of almost 25 years.
  • The most tightly held units were in Carlton North, kept for over 20 years.
  • The drivers were varied, from gaining access to good schools, to strong community ties.

If you love where you live, there’s likely little impetus to move.

PropTrack has unveiled new data, showing which suburbs in Australia have seen homeowners hold on for the longest periods.

The top suburbs for tightly held houses included locations from across Sydney and Melbourne, with an average hold time of well over 20 years. The top suburb was Clarinda, seeing homeowners hold on for nearly a quarter of a century.

The unit market saw tightly held suburbs spread across NSW, Victoria, Queensland, and WA.

Top 10 most tightly held suburbs – Houses

Suburb Region Average hold period 2023 
Clarinda VIC 3169 Greater Melbourne 24.40
Vermont South VIC 3133 Greater Melbourne 22.25
Arncliffe NSW 2205 Greater Sydney 21.20
Monterey NSW 2217 Greater Sydney 20.46
Springvale South VIC 3172 Greater Melbourne 20.43
Allambie Heights NSW 2100 Greater Sydney 20.16
Watsonia North VIC 3087 Greater Melbourne 20.12
Collaroy NSW 2097 Greater Sydney 19.82
St Johns Park NSW 2176 Greater Sydney 19.73
Mont Albert VIC 3127 Greater Melbourne 19.61

Source: Proptrack.

Top 10 most tightly held suburbs – Units

Suburb Region Average hold period 2023 
Carlton North VIC 3054 Greater Melbourne 20.68
Cremorne Point NSW 2090 Greater Sydney 17.20
Kirribilli NSW 2061 Greater Sydney 16.14
Narwee NSW 2209 Greater Sydney 15.88
Eastlakes NSW 2018 Greater Sydney 15.86
Minyama QLD 4575 Rest of Qld 15.71
Shelley WA 6148 Greater Perth 15.68
Canley Vale NSW 2166 Greater Sydney 15.40
Kalamunda WA 6076 Greater Perth 15.37
Monterey NSW 2217 Greater Sydney 15.17

Source: Proptrack.

“The most tightly held suburbs around the country tend to be in well-established, middle ring suburbs within a one-hour commuting distance of a capital city,” PropTrack economist, Anne Flaherty told The Property Tribune.

“Typically, they are popular with a broad range of people, from young families to retirees, with excellent amenity including schools and shops. They also tend to have strong lifestyle appeal, with green or waterfront spaces.”

Flaherty noted that with so few opportunities to buy in these locations, when homes do hit the market, they tend to perform well.

“Because of the tightly held nature of some of these suburbs, transaction evidence can be limited, making it more difficult to establish price trends. However, on balance, most of these suburbs have been out-performers for capital growth over the past decade due to their appealing locations and lifestyle attributes.”

“One of the standout characteristics of tightly held suburbs is that they appeal to people at different life stages, whether that be parents with young children or retirees. This is what keeps these owners in their homes for a longer period,” she added.

Ray White Forest Hill’s Hugh Francis told The Property Tribune that he believed Vermont was a tightly held market because of the very popular local schools. He noted that it was likely parents would buy up in the suburb, and stay for the duration of the child’s primary and secondary education.

In Springvale, Ray White Noble Park’s Allison Grant said properties in the suburb have been tightly held for quite a while, with one driver including familiarity.

“Properties in this area tend to stay within families or long-term owners for extended periods. The factors contributing to this are the established Asian cultural community and the amenities that create a sense of familiarity and comfort among residents,” she said.

“There are also limited new developments in the area, which restricts the supply of available properties for people to change; in either an effort to upscale or downscale. The cultural diversity and strong community ties also foster a sense of belonging that encourages long-term residency.”

“[I’ve observed] that older homeowners who have been living in the area for decades choose to stay due to emotional attachment and familiarity together with a lack of diversified aged care or retirement village options.

“Additionally, there exists a cultural inclination, particularly among Asian communities, to prioritise caring for family members at home which is viewed positively in their cultural context. There is an emerging trend of younger families showing interest in Springvale due to its affordability compared to some of the surrounding more expensive suburbs like Huntingdale, Clayton, Mulgrave and Glen Waverley.

Grant added that even if locals do choose to leave, many return each weekend to do their shopping and grab a bite at their favourite dining places.

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