Australia’s Most Tightly Held Suburbs


Australia’s most tightly held suburbs

The Australian suburbs that are the hardest to buy into are not those with the most spectacular views or stunning properties, but family-friendly area with good schools and tight-knit communities. 

Some of Australia’s most popular suburbs are also the hardest to buy in, with less than 0.5% of total properties listed for sale in the past year.

Suburbs 15-30km west and north-west of Sydney, such as Brookvale, Merrylands West, North Turramurra and South Turramurra, all feature in the top 10 list of Australia’s most tightly-held suburbs for houses, data from shows.

These suburbs all had less than 2% of their total houses listed for sale between June 2015 and May 2016.

Melbourne’s inner-city Windsor, as well as the Adelaide and Hobart CBDs, also feature on the list. Howerer those suburbs also had a higher percentage of properties leased during that time indicating their houses are mostly held by investors, not owner-occupiers.

Most tightly held suburbs

Rankings are calculated by dividing the number of properties in a suburb with the number of properties listed for sale between June 2015 and May 2016.

How does your suburb rank?

Enter your suburb and state into the interactive dashboard below to find out if your suburb ranks as tightly held based on the number of properties listed. A rank of one indicates the suburb is the most tightly held suburb within the state.

No one wants to leave Sydney’s leafy ‘burbs

About 18km north-west of Sydney, in the bush-surrounded suburbs of North and South Turramurra, you’d be hard-pressed to find many houses listed for sale.

South Turramurra is the second most tightly-held suburb in Australia with less than 0.4% of its properties listed in the past year. North Turramurra is sixth on the national list with 1% of its properties listed.

“In both cases it’s heavily about community,” says Matt Bourn, Director of McConnell Bourn Real Estate.

“People get locked and loaded in there and don’t move out too quickly.”

310A Bobbin Head Road North Turramurra NSW 2074

This contemporary home in North Turramurra was one of the few houses that sold in the suburb last year.

Bourn says active types, such as mountain bike riders and bushwalkers, are particularly drawn to the area.

“Those two locations are known for their leafiness – it’s the complete opposite of the beach lifestyle. It’s got that almost Blue Mountains feel,” Bourn says.

“If you lock up the office on a Friday afternoon and go back to North or South Turramurra you really feel like you’re getting away from it all.”

North Turramurra, enclosed on the north side by Bobbin Head National Park, is a stone’s throw from picnic areas, marinas and bush trails.

In South Turramurra, there are cycling and walking tracks to neighbouring Beecroft that pass through the suburb.

“You are surrounded by beautiful national park (in North and South Turramurra). But you do have that convenience of all the major motorways and transport links into the city.”

The shopping consists of a collection of boutiques, cafes and bakeries as opposed to the catch-all supermarket complex seen in neighbouring suburbs.

Bourn says there has been a generational shift in the past 3-5 years, with the area emerging as a popular spot to raise a family.

“In years gone by, they’ve probably been more affordable than nearby suburbs (Normanhurst, Turrarmurra, Pymble, St Ives). They were sleepy little areas. They were developed postwar when people moved in and stayed for a long time. The oldies are now moving out and young people are moving in,” he says.

“Growing families are using the outdoor areas and facilities that they have to offer.”

Many of the families who are unfamiliar with the suburbs are buying there for the quality of the schools.

Ku-Ring-Gai High School is well recognised for its creative arts program and Turramurra High School is one of the most renowned state schools in Sydney.

“I think once they get in there and realise the lifestyle it has to offer, they decide to stay there.”

3 Garrett Avenue South Turramurra NSW 2074

This five-bedroom family home is the only property for sale in South Turramurra at the moment.

West is best

Further west, buyers are recognising the value of remaining in the predominately owner-occupied suburb of Merrylands West, 27km from the Sydney CBD.

While its neighbour Merrylands has its own train station and lots of new units going up around it, Merrylands West consists of mostly houses, on bigger blocks in quieter streets.

Stephen Rizk, Director of Royale Real Estate Sydney – Merrylands, is not surprised to find that only 1% of properties in the suburb were listed for sale in the past year.

“When you buy in a good suburb, you want stay there. Merrylands West has always been a good suburb,” Rizk says.

Street appeal is high, Rizk adds, reflecting residents’ long-term commitment to the suburb.

25 Cameron Crt Merrylands West NSW 2160

This well-maintained home sold last year in Merrylands West.

A mix of good schools, both public and private, has seen many parents move to the area with the intention of seeing their kids through the school years.

Young families who move in for that reason have plenty to keep them occupied in their downtime. Central Gardens is the suburb’s 12-hectare nature reserve teeming with kangaroos and emus, featuring a lake, two playgrounds and multiple picnic and barbecue areas.

With just one IGA and about 20 specialty shops, the shopping centre is small and rarely crowded. “You can always find a park there,” Rizk says.

In terms of convenience, the major roads that run past the business districts of Parramatta and Westmeade bypass Merrylands West. To get to the city, there is both an exit and entry to the M4 Freeway from the suburb.

There are currently only three properties for sale in Merrylands West right now.

~ Alice Bradley