Why more Aussies stay put in their first home

by Miklos Bolza01 Nov 2016
Australians are staying in their homes for much longer thanks to affordability issues and the rising costs of buying and selling property, according to the latest McGrath Report from the nationwide network of estate agents.
The paper found that Australians are now living in their houses for an average of 10.7 years and their apartments for nine years. These figures have increased since 2005 when people were living in their houses and apartments for 6.7 and 5.9 years respectively – in a trend which may affect the local broker community as well.
“So why are we staying put longer? Essentially it boils down to financial reasons and changes in the way we live today,” said John McGrath, founder and executive director of McGrath Estate Agents.
“Affordability and the costs of buying and selling are major factors. Stamp duty and agents’ fees alone currently run to about $55,000 on a median priced house in Sydney today.”
More homeowners are renovating as well, which means that people are increasingly likely to draw on new equity and modify their homes instead of trading up.
Finally, a stronger economy means factors such as unemployment and financial stress aren’t prompting people to sell, McGrath said.
A surge in couple-only and single-person households around Australia means that there are fewer people who feel the need to move around as much as growing families do.
“Recent Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show 46% of couple-only and lone person households have lived in their current home for 10 or more years compared to 28% of families with kids.”
The report delved into other factors that persuade Australians to put off buying a new home for much longer periods of time. These include:
  • Younger people tending to live with their parents for longer
  • National wage growth falling behind property prices
  • A decrease in the average family size
  • An increase in multi-generational households
  • Mortgage-free households in Australia’s ageing population
The postcodes in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and the ACT with the longest hold periods for property are as follows:

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