Good luck buying into Perth’s most tightly held suburbs

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Some of the most tightly held suburbs in Perth have hold periods of nearly 20 years and there are predictions that will only increase as interest rates rise.

The suburbs in Perth where homes very rarely go up for sale are scattered across the city from the coast to the hills, but homeowners in Gidgegannup are staying put longer than elsewhere, according to figures from CoreLogic.

Those who sold in the suburb 40 kilometres north-east of Perth over the past year had held on to their house for a median of 18.8 years.

The waterfront suburbs of Trigg and Hillarys were also in the top 10 most tightly held, as were south-west neighbourhoods Bullcreek, Samson, Jandakot and Bateman, with median hold periods of at least 16 years.

For units, Maddington had the longest median hold times, at 16.1 years, followed by St James at 14.6 and Cannington at 13.7.

Suburbs with more home buyers and fewer investors typically had longer median hold periods, said Eliza Owen, CoreLogic’s head of research for Australia. Particularly areas that were popular with families or an older demographic.

Lifestyle attributes such as proximity to the waterfront could tie people to an area for longer, as could a larger migrant community, she said.

“These are properties that may be seen as valuable for families and individuals to hold on to for a long time,” Owen said, adding that their tightly held nature could further fuel price growth in already desirable areas.

The figures are based on the median hold time for properties sold over the 12 months to July. Medians were only calculated for suburbs with a minimum of 20 sales, ruling out some suburbs.

Separate CoreLogic figures show that longer hold periods typically result in higher nominal gains. Nationally, properties that sold after being held for at least 30 years had median gains of $781,750 in the March quarter.

While none of the suburbs are ultra-expensive, nine of the 10 have a current median price above the greater Perth median price. Kiara has the lowest median value with $518,576.

Perth property commentator Ryan Thompson said several factors, including proximity to sought-after schools, could explain why homes in these suburbs were so tightly held.

“Rossmoyne and Shenton Park are in the catchment area for sought after schools so you have families staying there for 15, 20 years or longer while their children are educated,” he said.

“Then you have small suburbs on the outskirts of the city, like Gidgegannup and Glen Forrest which are desirable for their old-fashioned country feel.

“They are close-knit, niche suburbs where the residents have rallied together to form a very community-based environment.”

Across the country, houses in greater Melbourne and Sydney are some of the most tightly held in the country, with homeowners waiting 23 years on average before selling in one suburb.

PropTrack director of economic research Cameron Kusher said rising interest rates could see the average hold period trend higher.

“As rates increase, borrowing capacities reduce, and with prices currently falling, it would seem this could discourage some homeowners from moving,” he said.

“In saying that, higher priced properties are falling in price faster than more affordable properties, so it could be advantageous to upgrade in the premium market.”

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