Retirees showing more preference for apartment living

New research from the Property Council has revealed retirees are moving up in the world – literally – and looking for more services than before.

The annual PwC/Property Council Retirement Census for 2018 showed nearly 30% of all new retirement villages had vertical components compared to 15% of existing developments, as Baby Boomers showed more of a preference for apartment living.

Other key findings included:

  • Entry to a retirement village remained affordable, at an average of 64% of the price of the median two-bedroom house across Australia (44% in Sydney and 55% in Melbourne)
  • 97% of new developments had at least five facilities or services, ranging from emergency call systems, social programs and community centres to cafes, cinemas and hair salons.
  • The average age of a retirement village resident had increased to 81, while the average age of entry remained 75. Only 2% of residents were now aged under 70.
  • Village occupancy remained strong at an average of 89% nationally.

The Property Council’s Executive Director – Retirement Living, Ben Myers, said the census showed the industry was responding to changing resident needs, and revealed some challenges.

“Despite a strong pipeline of units coming to the market over the next four years, the industry is struggling to access land and planning approvals to supply purpose-built housing for the rapidly increasing number of older Australians,” Mr Myers said.

“Just as interesting is the trend towards a fuller service offering that goes well beyond house. Modern retirees are seeking a more holistic solution, including easy access to health services on site and a range of recreational options.

“The Census also confirms time on the market for re-sales is increasing, reflecting a broader real estate trend as the residential market cools.”

A copy of the census is available here.

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