From Berora to Bonnyrigg Heights, Sydney suburbs homeowners don’t want to leave.

In the city, the median tenure is 9.4 years for houses and 7.9 years for apartments. That’s the longest period for apartments in the past decade, and the home average hit a record high in 2019.


Owen said holding periods tend to fall in a rising market and are longer in a cold market when fewer people are selling — especially recent buyers who are more likely to sell at a loss.

Separate CoreLogic figures show that longer holdings often result in higher nominal profits. Nationally, properties sold after being owned for at least 30 years earned an average of $781,750 in the March quarter.

According to social demographer Mark McCrindell of McCrindell Research, Sydney’s tight-knit suburbs are diverse in terms of demographics, location and price. But they also had some key similarities; They were mostly well-established suburbs with strong pull factors. Many of them were popular with families and landlords, which contributed to a longer stay.

“All people have reasons for staying there – they have a very high natural amenity or a very high community service,” McCrindale said.

“There are a lot of beaches that have beaches… or national parks. People stay in their homes because they love the environment.

Kamsey was one of the most tightly held suburbs in Sydney.

Kamsey was one of the most tightly held suburbs in Sydney.Credit:Renee Nowtarger

Suburbs like St. John’s Park and nearby Bonnyrigg Heights had sizable Vietnamese and Buddhist populations, which valued their proximity to local temples, shops and communities, McCrindale said.

“The cause of the car is not the house or the room, but the environment. That’s what kept them there,” he said.

McCrindale suspects that a cooling property market and the cost of living and mobility could keep people in their homes longer, with adult children being kept in the family home.

Yowie Bay resident Rodney Monk is not surprised by the suburb’s high standards.

Rodney Monk has been in the family for seven decades at Yowie Bay.

Rodney Monk has been in the family for seven decades at Yowie Bay.Credit:Rhett Wyman

“It’s a beautiful area… the scenery is beautiful, you can hear the birds singing in the trees, and you have a waterway. You really couldn’t ask for anything better,” he said.

The 66-year-old artist and teacher is selling the family home of nearly seven decades along with his brother. He grew up in a three-bedroom house once built by his late father on a dirt road, and has moved back there in recent years.

The family loved the area, and water sports, bushwalking and fishing were all common pastimes. As the suburbs change, Monk still enjoys the walks and swims at Jimea Bay Baths.

Selling agent Richard Lane of Gerrard Partners said the prime-condition home had attracted interest from young couples and families looking to rebuild their forever home on the block.


“It’s an opportunity to get into a property in a tight space, and the interest I’ve had is mainly from people who want to build their dream home,” Lane said.

Ray White Inner West agent Angela Sadie said apartments in Abbotsford and Russell Lea were generally popular and well booked. Rooms in Abbotsford can offer water views, while those in Russell Lea are limited to two pockets, making them rare.

The declines were reflecting rising demand for apartments in the area, which could lead to longer tenures. The cost of upgrading can be keeping young homeowners in apartments longer.

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