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Homeowners in Albion like to stay put longer than anywhere else in Brisbane.

By Michael McMahon

RENOVATION potential has homeowners hanging around for the long term, resulting in some tightly-held suburbs in Brisbane.

According to new figures from RP Data, the average time a house has been owned in Albion has long been on the increase and is now 18.3 years.

Dutton Park comes in second on the list of tightly-held suburbs, with houses there remaining in their owners hands for on average 16.5 years before selling.

Deagon is next at 14.6 years followed by Robertson and St Lucia with 13.9 years each.

Place Paddington agent Judy Newlands said buyers in Albion were often forced to stay in their houses for longer because many were renovators.

“If they can’t find anything that’s renovated and ready to go into, they are forced to renovate,” she said.

“They like their plot of land and they’ll just improve the home.”

She predicted the trend would not continue to the same extent once all of the homes had been renovated within the suburb and could be turned over more quickly.

But she said Albion’s location also contributed to its homeowners wanting to hang around.

“Albion is a really well-kept secret,” she said.

“People don’t realise until they live in it that it is right on the doorstep of the CBD. But it’s not overpopulated, the streets are roomy and it’s quiet.

“A lot of buyers are people coming out of units in New Farm who want a house.

“They want a little bit of grass but don’t want to forgo inner-city living.”

Janelle Johnston, who has her Wakefield St home on the market said Albion had changed a lot since she and her husband Sam moved there in 1996.

“When we first moved in it was full of elderly people who were born in their homes. Now it’s full of young families,” she said.

“People have left but it’s probably because they have passed away or gone to a nursing home but the young people have stayed.”

Mrs Johnston said they chose to stay in the area for so long because it suited their lifestyle both before and after having children.

“It’s a fantastic area. It’s central but very quiet and green,” she said.

“It’s got fantastic public transport, restaurants and schools.”

Ray White Aspley Group agent Catherine O’Keeffe said houses in Deagon often sold quickly when they became available.

She sold three last month including one listed for only eight days.

“One of the reasons it is popular is that it is walking distance to Sandgate and the beach. It is walking distance to three train stations from anywhere in Deagon,” she said.

She said the fact children could walk to both their primary school and high school within the suburb was also a factor in families wanting to stay in the area.

School catchments can have a strong influence on where families buy and how long they stay.

Dutton Park attracted buyers who wanted to be within the Brisbane State High catchment and, according to Alison Tutkaluk of Mortland &Co, it is also the case in St Lucia.

Mrs Tutkaluk said the Ironside State School catchment often brought families to St Lucia who would then want to stay until all of their children had finished.

“People come from all over to try to get into that (Ironside) school,” she said. “We just sold one at Ninth Ave. They’re going to knock it down. They bought it purely to go to Ironside State School.”

But despite comparatively long holding periods in some areas, Ms O’Keeffe said young people in general were not staying in one home for as long as previous generations.

“It just seems to be a change in attitude,” she said.

“Older people stayed in their properties for 40 years but now people move on much quicker than that.”

For units, Brisbane’s longest holding period was in Robertson, with an average of 11.4 years followed by Bridgeman Downs, 11.3 years, Riverhills 11.1 years, Durack and St Lucia both 10.8 years.

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