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By Joseph Ballota

From fleeting to forever: suburbs where residents stay put or pack up

Australia is full steam ahead through the next phase of the property cycle, but supply issues continue to weigh heavy on the market.

The lack of available properties is a market-wide issue, but there are some suburbs where homeowners are holding onto their properties for a record length of time.

Meanwhile, in other areas properties appear to switch hands far quicker. data reveals that buyers looking to get their foot in the door in Killarney Heights will have to wait the longest, with the suburb holding claim to the longest holding period across the country.

Homeowners in that particular Sydney suburb hold onto their property for an average of 20.1 years.


“Most properties in Killarney Heights are large four or five-bedroom properties with swimming pools and plenty of outside space,” said.

“Many of the residents would have moved there to raise a family, be close to the good schools, but still be close to the city. And, have then liked it so much they have never left.”

Elsewhere, Clarinda, 18km south-east of Melbourne’s CBD is second on the list with an average 19.2-year holding period.

The majority of houses in Clarinda have four plus bedrooms and are well-sized family homes.

In fact, of the top 10 suburbs listed, 6 are in NSW and the remaining 4 are located in Victoria.

And there is one regional suburb that makes it to number four.

Point Lonsdale, on the Bellarine Peninsula in Victoria, has an average holding period of 18.3 years.

The median house price in this suburb is $1.29 million, but there are many luxury properties costing three to four times that price.

Here’s the full list of Australia’s suburbs with the longest holding periods, where property for sale could be difficult to come by.

Suburbs with the highest average holding period

Rank Suburb State Region Average holding period (years)
1 Killarney Heights NSW Greater Sydney             20.1
2 Clarinda VIC Greater Melbourne             19.2
3 Fairfield Heights NSW Greater Sydney             18.8
4 Point Lonsdale VIC Rest of Vic.             18.3
5 Kareela NSW Greater Sydney             17.8
6 Cherrybrook NSW Greater Sydney             17.7
7 Berowra Heights NSW Greater Sydney             17.6
8 Glen Alpine NSW Greater Sydney             17.6
9 Caulfield VIC Greater Melbourne             17.6
10 Watsonia North VIC Greater Melbourne             17.4


But not all suburbs across Australia are as tightly held as the likes of those on the list above, there are plenty of suburbs where properties are changing hands at a much quicker rate.

Coming in first place as the suburb with the lowest average holding period is one of our newest suburbs -  Denman Prospect in Canberra, with a holding period of just 2.7 years.

With a population of roughly 2,700 at the last Census, all the properties have been built within the past five years.

Many investors bought off the plan and have since sold their investments.

Second on the list is Yarrabilba, in the Logan - Beaudesert region of Brisbane - which has an average hold period of 3.2 years.

In 2016, the suburb only had 5,400 people living there, but by the 2021 census, the population had skyrocketed to over 10,000.

Elsewhere, Mount Duneed, in Geelong, has the fastest turnover period of 3.6 years in Victoria.

Again, this is a new suburb, which was established as part of the Armstrong Creek Growth Area that was opened up for urban development in 2010.

Houses in newly developed suburbs resell quickly as many are bought by investors to make a profit.

While new development suburbs often witness swift property turnover driven by investment activity, this doesn't mean they won't evolve into tightly held suburbs over time.

As families put down roots, these developing suburbs may one day rival the likes of Killarney Heights, to become the most tightly held suburbs in Australia.

Here’s the full list:

Suburbs with the lowest average holding period

Rank Suburb State Region Average holding period (years)
1 Denman Prospect ACT Australian Capital Territory             2.7
2 Yarrabilba QLD Greater Brisbane             3.2
3 Rochedale QLD Greater Brisbane             3.5
4 Palmview QLD Rest of Qld             3.6
5 Mount Duneed VIC Rest of Vic.             3.6
6 Aintree VIC Greater Melbourne             3.7
7 Baringa QLD Rest of Qld             3.7
8 Box Hill NSW Greater Sydney             3.7
9 Deebing Heights QLD Greater Brisbane             3.7
10 Googong NSW Rest of NSW             3.8


A key takeaway

These suburbs with the longest and shortest holding periods aren’t necessarily the suburbs I would recommend investing in.

That’s because when it comes to property investment, it's most important to look for an investment-grade property in the ‘right area’ rather than chasing ‘top hotspots’ or growth areas.

But even before looking for the right location, make sure you have a Strategic Property Plan to steer you through the upcoming challenging times our property markets will encounter.

You see…property investing is a process, not an event.

Things have to be done in the right order – and selecting the location and the right property in that location comes right at the end of the process.

The fact is, the property you will eventually buy will be the result of a sequence of questions you will need to ask and answer and a series of decisions you’ll need to make before you even start looking at locations.

Long before we talk about a property or the right location with our clients at Metropole, we look at factors including their age, their timeframes, and the desired end results in other words, what do they want the properties to do – are they looking for cash flow, capital growth, or a combination of both.

And that’s because what makes a great investment property for me, is not likely to be the same as what would suit your investment needs.

About Joseph Ballota Joseph is a Property Coach who put hundreds of people on the road towards wiping away their mortgage in under 5 years through expert Property Investment Plans.
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