Folklore says that people buy and sell every seven or so years.
However, the truth does seem to be longer with the average hold period for all the homes sold in Melbourne in the year ending 31 March being 11.4 years, and 9.5 years for units.
Where that’s even more interesting are the suburbs whose owners seem to rarely sell; they cover a range of prices and locations in Melbourne.
Topping the list with the suburb for the longest period of ownership are the home owners of Vermont South. In Vermont South the average hold period is 18.3 years.
If you really like the area and don’t want to wait that long, the average hold period in the more affordable Vermont is only 13.8 years.
The top 10 list also has three suburbs with million dollar house values, Ormond where the average hold period is 16.9 years, Caulfield North at 15.4 years and Parkville at 15.4 years.
At the more affordable end of the market is Tullamarine. Owners of houses there sell on average every 15.7 years.
The fact that the houses in Tullamarine are as tightly held as Ormond but under half the value suggests owners reasons for selling infrequently is not strongly related to their cost. Rather, there will be a range of other demographic reasons why people sell infrequently, which includes what stage of life they were at when they purchased, along with the actual age of the suburb.
One interesting and common factor is that each of the suburbs in the top 10 has a lower than average proportion of investors as owners.
Vermont South for instance has less than 1 in 10 homes owned by an investor. In Wheelers Hill, which has an average hold period of 16.2 years, only 10.6 per cent of homes are owned by investors.
This factor alone does not explain the long periods of ownership in Tullarmarine in which investors own 16.2 per cent of houses.
It is likely to be a special case due to its proximity to the major economic activity centre and employment generator, the airport.