Australian homeowners were less inclined to move but were more likely to score a bigger profit when selling their property over the last decade.
Domain’s Tenure and Profit report showed that tenure, which measures the number of years that a property is owned before being resold, increased in significantly over the past 10 years across capital cities and regional markets.
For houses, housing tenure across Australia increased from seven years in 2013 to nine years in 2023. In the unit sector, the hold period went from six years to eight years over the same period.
The table below shows how tenure increased in each market:
Domain chief of research and economics Dr Nicola Powell said the increasing tenure reflects the reality of significantly stretched and highly leveraged household budgets.
“Furthermore, when you consider the transactional costs associated with buying and selling a home, such as conveyancing and stamp duty, it's no surprise that people are becoming more cautious, even if their current property doesn't fully meet their lifestyle needs,” she said.
Dr Powell said a concerning trend is also emerging, where more homes are falling into higher stamp duty rate categories — this contributes to the misallocation of housing state.
Around 65% of homes owned outright have two or more spare bedrooms, compared to 22% of privately rented dwellings.
On top of this roughly 640,000 Australians are living in housing stress.
“This mismatch exacerbates the ongoing housing affordability crisis and hinders efforts to maximise the efficient use of our housing stock,” Dr Powell said.
The low housing mobility also indicates that there is a lack of suitable housing available. For instance, downsizers are struggling to find homes within the location they are familiar with.
Profit-making resales are increasing
According to the Domain report, while the percentage of profitable property resales experiences some variation over the years, it consistently comprised most resales, historically consistently exceeding 90%.
Currently, 97.8% of houses were resold at a profit, and 91.7% of units achieved the same.
Smaller capital cities like Canberra, Adelaide, and Hobart showed the highest rate of profitable resales.
In terms of median value, Sydney posted the largest median increase in housing resale profit to $410,000, followed by Canberra at $409,550, and Melbourne ay $327,000.
For units, Hobart reported the biggest increase in median profit at $220,000, followed by regional New South Wales at $192,500.
Dr Powell said property sellers have experienced a substantial increase in value compared to their original purchase price.
“The proportion of profitable resales remains consistently high, a trend expected to continue as Australia's housing market recovers,” she said.
“However, in certain localised areas, the landscape may appear different, as some motivated sellers might be more inclined to accept a loss against the backdrop of rising debt costs.”