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Australians not sold on moving house

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2015-March 2016, n=14,855

Almost 60% of Australians 14+ have been living at the same address for five years or more, the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research reveal, with people from the ACT and rural South Australia showing the most propensity to stay put in the one place for the long-term (10+ years) and Queenslanders being noticeably more inclined to move house within less than five years.

The old chestnut about a change being as good as a holiday clearly hasn’t hit home with Australian householders: 40.7% of the population have been at their current address for a decade or more, and 17.4% have been living at theirs for between five and 10 years. Only 14.3% have been in their household for less than 12 months.

How long Australians have lived at their current address


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2015-March 2016, n= 14,885. NB: excludes those who couldn’t say

Not surprisingly, 65.3% of people who’ve been in their current home for less than 12 months are renting. What with the ever-increasing cost of rent and the great Australian dream of home-ownership, it’s rare to rent the same property for a long period: in fact, only one in every 10 Aussies who rent have lived in the one place for more than a decade.

In contrast, 68.4% of Australians who own their home outright have been at the same address for 10-plus years.

On the move: house-moving by region

Around the nation, certain cities and rural areas stand out for being home to above- or below-average proportions of long-term householders. For example, 54.3% of country South Australians and 51.3% of ACT residents have been in their current dwelling for more than a decade, compared with 36.5% of Brisbanites and less than a third of folks living in country Queensland. 

Australia’s most and least mobile regions


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2015-March 2016, n=14,855

Once again, things start to make sense when we consider the home-ownership and rental statistics for each area. People living in rural South Australia, the ACT and rural Victoria also lead the nation in terms of home ownership, while the proportion of Queensland residents who live in rental properties is well above the national average.

Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Moving house is widely acknowledged as one of life’s more stressful experiences, but whether this is one of the reasons that almost six in 10 Aussies have been at their current address for more than five years is debatable.  Of course, staying at the same address has many advantages: stability, convenience, and – in the case of home-owners or those paying off their mortgage – avoiding the costs involved in selling property, to name a few.

“However, given that much of Australia is in the midst of a housing boom, it’s a little surprising more people aren’t trying to profit from the skyrocketing property prices and selling up. Of course, the boom also makes it more difficult for first-time home-buyers to enter the market, which ensures that demand for rental properties remains strong too.

“Roy Morgan data shows that renters are over-represented among Australians who have lived in their present household for any of the time periods under five years. It’s no coincidence that these shorter-term householders are more likely to be between 25 and 34 years old than any other age – just a little young to have saved enough for a deposit on their own place in such a pricey market.

“Real estate agents and property managers would benefit from a deeper understanding of which sectors of the population are more likely to consider moving and/or selling, and which are more likely to stay put, so they can focus their marketing efforts on the most receptive audience.”

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%