Average Length of Home Ownership Rises

By Peter Sarmas on 2 Apr 2014
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Average Length of Home Ownership Rises

Families across Australia are staying put for longer
Photo: For Civil Minds

Home owners in Sydney and Melbourne are holding onto their houses longer.

Owners in Melbourne and Hobart are also doing the same with their units, according to a report released by RP Data, which looked at the length of time a property is held by its existing owner.

Research analyst Cameron Kusher said that the average length of ownership for residential properties is continuing to increase.

“This indicates to us that home owners are moving less frequently,” he said.

Home Owners Staying Put Longer Since 2004

For houses, today’s results show that the average hold period across Australia’s capital cities was 10.1 years at the end of 2013, and for units it was 8.4 years.

In the regional markets, the hold period was slightly less for houses at 9.5 years while for units it was longer at 8.6 years.

“Houses in particular tend to be held for much longer in Sydney and Melbourne than they are elsewhere.”

Mr Kusher’s analysis highlights a consistent increase in the average hold period since about 2004/05.

“This rise coincides with the national surge in home values from 2001 to 2004 and the subsequent fall in sales volumes thereafter,” he said.

Home Owners in Regional Areas Hold onto Homes for Shorter Periods

Home owners in regional areas are typically holding onto their properties for less time
Photo: Free Aussie Stock

Houses Held for Longer in Sydney and Melbourne

Across the individual capital city housing markets, the average hold period trended higher across each market over the past decade.

The results also show that houses in particular tend to be held for much longer in Sydney and Melbourne than they are elsewhere.

By the end of 2013, Melbourne had the longest average hold period for houses and units recorded at 11.4 years and 9.4 years respectively.

“Over the coming year we would expect that the trend towards longer periods of home ownership will continue to be evident.”

Sydney houses had the second longest average hold period at 11.0 years, while for units, Hobart held second longest hold period at 8.5 years.

Each capital city has recorded an increase in the average hold period for houses and units over the past year.

Across the country’s council areas, Auburn in New South Wales is the area with the longest average period for houses at 15.5 years.

For units, New South Wales and Victoria dominated the list; however, most of these areas are situated outside of the capital city.

Home Owners in Regional Areas Hold onto Homes for Shorter Periods

Across the country, the shortest average hold periods are generally found in Western Australia for houses and in Queensland for units.

Weipa in Far North Queensland has the shortest average hold period for both houses and units at 5.3 years for houses and 3.3 years for units.

Mr Kusher said that the regions with the shortest average hold periods are typically found outside of the capital cities.

Typical Hold Period Increasing Overall

Mr Kusher said that the data shows that the typical hold period is increasing.

“As we see a rise in property values rising, and the subsequent transactional cost of buying and selling properties increasing at the same time, it is no wonder home owners are choosing to move home less regularly.

“The cost of agency fees and stamp duty acts as a disincentive to buy and sell property. Over the coming year we would expect that the trend towards longer periods of home ownership will continue to be evident.”

About the Author

Peter Sarmas is a Certified Property Investment Advisor (PIAA) and Vendor/Buyer Advocate. Before becoming the founder of Street News, Peter completed a Degree in Applied Science (Chemistry) and a Graduate Diploma in Property Valuations (Hons). Peter believes property investing is a major and potentially risky undertaking. In his view, everyone should have an independent person acting on their behalf when seeking property investment advice.

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