Areas where owners are reluctant to sell

Author: Nila Sweeney - Australian Financial Review

The spring selling season is set to unleash new home listings into the market, but buyers may still find it near-impossible to buy in suburbs where owners are reluctant to sell.

These tightly-held suburbs can take up to 22 years on average before homeowners sell and they can be found in the middle-ring suburbs of Australia’s capital cities according to the data compiled by CoreLogic for The Australian Financial Review.

Melbourne’s Vermont South is the most tightly-held suburb in the country where homeowners hold on to their houses for 22.4 years on average.

Unsurprisingly, there’s hardly any stock in the suburb 20km east of the city - only 0.5 per cent of the total dwellings are up for grabs.

Selling agent Sophia Tangey, of Barry Plant, who has lived there for more than 40 years, says owners are reluctant to sell because of the lifestyle, notwithstanding the $1,020,346 median price.

“Vermont South has everything,” she said. “You’re only a half-hour away from the city or beach.

“Families and downsizers love it here because of the abundance of good schools to choose from, it’s safe and you're close to hospitals. It’s a tight-knit community and at the moment there’s hardly any stock.”

In south-eastern Melbourne’s Wheelers Hill, owners are staying on for 21.2 years on average before they sell.

In Sydney, houses don’t hit the market often in Busby, Davidson, Greenfield Park, Sefton and North Strathfield.

Once buyers get in, they hold on to their houses for an average of 20.8 years.

“Busby, Greenfield Park and Sefton have traditionally been sought for affordability and value for money by Sydney standards,” said Sydney-based Anna Porter, principal and property adviser at Suburbanite.

“As affordability has been stripped away from the Sydney market over the past decade, many families are choosing to hold onto their homes for longer rather than go through the expensive buying and selling process which could cost them around $100,000 on average.”

Lauren Goudy, a buyers’ agent with Rose & Jones, said families who purchase their homes in these suburbs tend to establish themselves deeply within the community.

“People do become very attached to their village once they get into one of these locations. It’s an emotional pull for people, that’s why they stay put.”

Owners of units in Melbourne’s Box Hill North, Surrey Hills and Brighton East are also not in a hurry to sell.

On average, they hold on to their units for 15 years before putting them on the market.

“These areas are popular among downsizing cashed-up baby boomers who are willing and able to buy these properties,” said Miriam Sandkuhler, the chief executive of buyers’ agency Property Mavens.

Median unit price for Box Hill North is sitting at $760,729 while Brighton East is fetching  $924,632, according to CoreLogic.

Source: Australian Financial Review