The housing market's unaffordability has resulted in fewer homes changing hands, with many owners holding onto their properties for much longer, according to a study by CoreLogic.

On average, the length of homeownership has risen to 11.3 years for houses and 9.6 years for units over the past 10 years, representing respective increases of 3.8 and 2.9 years.

"The average hold period has consistently increased since 2005 across both house and units nationally. The average hold period figure is based on sales from the past year, using the latest sold date and the previous sold date to establish how many years a property has been held for between each transaction," CoreLogic research analyst Cameron Kusher said.

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Over the past year, Melbourne recorded the most prolonged period of house ownership at an average of 12.5 years. Perth came in with the longest average ownership for units at 10.8%.

Compared to 10 years ago, Sydney recorded the most extended average hold periods for both houses and units at nine and 7.3 years, respectively.

Kusher said the data suggest that homeowners are more reluctant to sell their properties.

"Other factors such as the rising cost of selling and purchasing property, combined with affordability constraints across some Australia's more expensive capital cities contribute to owners holding onto their properties longer," he said.

The table below shows the average hold period in capital cities and the rest of state regions.