Australian Homeowners Stay Put: New Report Highlights Suburbs With the Longest Tenure
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Australian Homeowners Stay Put: New Report Highlights Suburbs With the Longest Tenure

Here are the suburbs we love not to leave – Australia’s most tightly-held areas

By Bronwyn Allen
Mon, Oct 23, 2023 9:56amGrey Clock 4 min

Australians are holding onto their homes for longer, as a new report reveals some of the suburbs that are the most tightly held in the country. The newly released Domain Tenure Report reveals house owners are staying put for an average of nine years, up from seven years in 2013. Apartment owners are holding their homes for an average of eight years, up from six years in 2013.

There are many reasons why tenure periods are lengthening in Australia. Across the capital cities, the most consistent tenure increases have been in Sydney and Perth houses and Sydney and Melbourne units. Housing affordability challenges are likely a factor in more home owners staying put in Sydney and Melbourne. Whereas in Perth, a long period of weak market conditions may have discouraged people from changing homes until they can sell for more than they bought. It’s cheaper to buy a house today in Perth than in any other capital city bar Darwin, so the increasing period of tenure may also reflect buyers’ ability to secure a ‘forever home’ on the first purchase.

The report notes that transactional costs associated with moving, such as stamp duty, can distort housing decisions and be a disincentive to move. “The financial burden of stamp duty can be linked to people’s willingness to change homes to suit their current needs,” according to the report.

A long average tenure period can also reflect a suburb’s high desirability or aspirational nature, perhaps due to its strong community, the style of housing, or a prized school catchment zone. Domain chief of research and economics, Dr Nicola Powell says: “There are certain areas that people tend to stay at for much longer and that’s because they are committed to the community. So, what you can find is that those tightly held areas are very hard to gain access to.” Dr Powell commented that in certain areas “people almost stalk for houses to come up since it means you’ll gain access into that suburb”.

A long average tenure can also indicate a lack of variation in local housing stock. Growing families may opt to renovate and/or extend their existing homes to suit their changing needs, thereby staying put longer. Would-be downsizers may also stay in larger homes for longer periods because there is a lack of smaller homes available in the area.

The areas with the longest average tenure periods across Australia’s capital cities are profiled below.


The suburbs we love not to leave


Strathfield-Burwood-Ashfield area, NSW (average tenure 13 years – houses)


Within the Strathfield-Burwood-Ashfield area is the suburb of Strathfield, which is known for its grand modernised Federation homes on generous blocks in wide, leafy streets. The suburb has a large number of schools including Strathfield Girls High School, Trinity Grammar, Santa Sabina College and St Patrick’s College. The area attracts older families with teenage children who want to buy forever homes in their preferred school catchments. The median price for a four bedroom house in Strathfield is $3.01 million, down 6.3% in 2023.


Whitehorse-East, VIC (average tenure 13 years – houses)


Balwyn North is the most populous suburb within the Whitehorse-East area. Located about 10km east of Melbourne CBD, it is one of the city’s most affluent suburbs. It is known for its wide, leafy streets, large parcels of land and post-war homes that have been modernised or knocked down and rebuilt over the years. Balwyn North offers close proximity to some of Victoria’s best private schools. The median price for a four bedroom house in Balwyn North is $2.345 million, up 2% in 2023.


Centenary, QLD (average tenure 14 years – houses)


Within the Centenary area of Toowoomba is the suburb of Centenary Heights, about 4km from the CBD. The suburbs attracts younger families on a budget looking for homes they can renovate or extend over time. It’s a great alternative to the pricier neighbouring area of Middle Ridge, with the median price for a four bedroom house in Centenary Heights being $615,000, up 13.5% in 2023.


Port Adelaide (average tenure 11 years – units)


The suburb of Port Adelaide has a strong maritime history and is home to the Techport naval construction base. It was developed in the 1800s and showcases some of the best preserved colonial buildings in South Australia. A sizeable part of the town centre is heritage-listed. Much residential development over the past decade has provided more apartments and townhouses, thereby attracting younger buyers who are also drawn to the thriving social and sporting scene. The median apartment price in Port Adelaide is $533,500, up 23% in 2023.


Joondalup, WA (average tenure 11 years – houses)


The suburb of Joondalup is about 26km north of Perth CBD. It is the primary urban centre of the outer northern suburbs and has its own train station, many parks and a coastal zone featuring Burns Beach in the north and Beaumaris Beach in the south. Joondalup began its journey to becoming Perth’s ‘city of the north’ in the 1980s, when many houses and businesses were established in the area. The median price for a four bedroom house in Joondalup is $633,000, up 2.9% in 2023.


North Canberra, ACT (average tenure 12 years – houses)


Within the North Canberra area is the suburb of O’Connor, which borders bushland on the edge of the CBD. O’Connor is a uniquely quiet residential area with a much-loved local village, yet is only 3km from the city centre. O’Connor is gentrifying as families seize the opportunity to buy quarter-acre blocks with 1950s homes that they can replace with architecturally designed dream homes in tranquil bush surrounds. The median price for a four bedroom house in O’Connor is $1.588 million, down 27.8% in 2023.


Litchfield, NT (average tenure 13 years – houses)


The Litchfield municipality is on the eastern and southeastern outskirts of the Darwin-Palmerston urban area. Within Litchfield is the suburb of Humpty Doo, a popular tourist spot on the way between Darwin and Kakadu National Park. The town has a thriving agricultural industry and the warm climate enables top-quality mangoes to be grown and picked earlier than Queensland fruit. The median price for a three bedroom house in Humpty Doo is $650,000, up 11.5% in 2023.


Hobart Inner (average tenure 8 years – houses)


Within the Hobart Inner area is Sandy Bay, an affluent residential suburb known for its natural beauty, with many homes enjoying spectacular panoramic water views. It is just 1km from Hobart CBD and offers a mix of historical homes and contemporary residences. It is home to many prestigious schools and has a vibrant restaurant and café scene. The median price for a four bedroom house in Sandy Bay is $1.51 million, down 9.9% in 2023.




This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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Hotel experience at home in Castle Hill

A new development in the Hills District sets a new standard in buyer expectations

Wed, May 22, 2024 3 min

Castle Hill is set to be home to a new hotel-like development, with the announcement that the 94-apartment Astrid site is just weeks away from completion.

While the penthouse apartments across the two buildings have already been snapped up, there are still one, two and three-bedroom residences on offer. The development comes with a gold star iCIRT rating, guaranteeing it has met quality construction standards. The iCIRT rating system has been developed by Equifax in partnership with government, industry and market and rates projects from one to five stars following a rigorous and independent review process.

Steve Harb from developer CBD Core, said it’s the best indicator would-be buyers could have that their investment is safe.

“The iCIRT rating gives people the assurance that we’re trustworthy and have integrity as a developer,” he says. “Our service is complete from start to finish, from developer to builder. 

“As a buyer, you have one point of contact, there’s no shifting responsibility or passing the buck so if anyone has an issue, it can be sorted out as soon as possible.”

He said Astrid has proved popular with locals interested in upgrading without leaving the convenience and amenity of the Hills District. Surrounded by some of the best restaurants, clubs and recreational facilities in the area, it is also just six minutes’ walk to the new Metro station and a seven-minute drive to Castle Towers Shopping Centre. Schools and tertiary education options are also within an easy drive. In addition to some of the best parks and reserves in Sydney, it’s an attractive option for families on the move.

Mr Harb said the concept for the development, as with all his projects, was to create a hotel-like environment.

“I only do boutique projects and when I say ‘boutique’, I mean hotels without the concierge,” he says. “The quality and integrity is built into it.”

The infinity edge pool is surrounded by leafy gardens in a resort-style environment.

Leisure facilities include rooftop gardens and entertaining spaces as well as a fully equipped gym on the ground floor overlooking an infinity edge pool surrounded by lush landscaped gardens. Mr Harb says beautiful landscaping is a signature of all his developments.

“I have lived in the Hills District for more than 15 years and the reason I live here is because I love the leafy environment, the greenery,” he says. “I always like to emphasise that in my developments with strong landscaping.”


Recognising the ongoing desire to adopt a hybrid working model, Astrid provides a dedicated on-site working environment suitable for exclusive use by residents needing focused work time, as well as those seeking professional meeting rooms to receive clients, with wifi enabled work desks, as well as more casual seating. 

Mr Harb said the pandemic taught him that, while working from home was convenient, having breakout spaces within a wider residential development was highly attractive.

“You’re not stuck looking at the same four walls,” he says. “The shared work space at Astrid has comfortable lounges, chairs, coffee tables and more than a dozen cubicles,” he says. “It’s more like going into a meeting room in a hotel.”

The apartments are characterised by light-filled interiors.


The apartments are light-filled living spaces with seamless access to balconies, through to integrated joinery secreting storage. Finishes have been chosen to last, from the Michael Angelo Quartz benchtop and Char Oak Polytec Ravine joinery in the kitchen to the stone splashback and custom-made joinery in the bathroom.

Access throughout the buildings is via a swipe card, providing a secure environment. 

For more information, see Astrid Castle Hill.


This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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