Owners hang on to homes and units longer, RP Data

Home owners in Sydney and Melbourne are holding onto their houses longer while owners in Melbourne and Hobart are doing the same with their units according to a report out today by RP Data which looked at the length of time a property is held by its existing owner.

average-hold-period-of-houses-and-units-nationallyResearch 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. 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.

Mr Kusher’s analysis, which is best seen in the first of the adjacent charts, 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.

Capital city average hold periods over time*

Houses Units
Capital city 2003 2008 2012 2013 2003 2008 2012 2013
Sydney 7.0 8.9 10.6 11.0 5.6 7.3 8.1 8.3
Melbourne 8.3 9.3 10.9 11.4 7.0 7.9 9.0 9.4
Brisbane 6.7 7.1 9.3 9.9 5.6 5.5 7.7 8.2
Adelaide 4.5 5.8 7.6 8.0 4.2 5.5 7.6 7.7
Perh 5.6 6.1 8.2 8.4 4.9 5.7 7.7 7.9
Hobart 5.8 6.8 8.8 9.2 5.3 6.1 8.0 8.5
Darwin 2.8 4.0 5.7 6.1 2.9 3.9 5.5 5.7
Canberra 5.4 7.3 9.1 9.5 5.0 6.3 7.2 8.4
* Our Northern Territory data structure commences in 1999 so may not be indicative Source: RP Data


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 do 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. 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.

Council Area State Avg hold period Council Area State Avg hold period
Auburn NSW 15.5 Weipa QLD 3.3
Canada Bay NSW 14.4 Isaac QLD 3.8
Queenscliffe VIC 14.1 Central Highlands QLD 4.0
Monash VIC 13.6 Somerset QLD 4.1
Glen Eira VIC 13.6 Break O’Day TAS 4.6
Loddon VIC 13.4 Dardanup WA 5.0
Alpine VIC 13.3 Brighton TAS 5.0
Whitehorse VIC 13.2 Copper Coast SA 5.1
Manningham VIC 13.1 Muswellbrook NSW 5.2
Boroondara VIC 13.0 Southern Grampians VIC 5.3
Greater Dandenong VIC 13.0 Mount Isa QLD 5.3
Murweh QLD 12.9 Palmerston NT 5.3
Darebin VIC 12.8 Waroona WA 5.4
Randwick NSW 12,8 Tumby Bay SA 5.5
Buloke VIC 12.7 Barossa SA 5.5
Hornsby NSW 12.7 Manjimup WA 5.6
Banyule VIC 12.7 Alice Springs NT 5.6
Sutherland Shire NSW 12.5 Mid-Western Regional NSW 5.7
Moreland VIC 12.5 Port Hedland WA 5.7
Manly NSW 12.5 Katherine NT 5.8
Source: RP Data


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.

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Cameron Kusher

Cameron Kusher is CoreLogic RP Data’s senior research analyst, specialising in primary and secondary data analysis, property market commentary and consultancy. Cameron has a thorough understanding of the fundamentals such as demographics, trends, economics and spacial analysis and is a regular keynote speaker for property-related groups, regulated industry bodies, corporations and the government sectors.