Because there is no fountain of youth, one thing we can rely on is the ageing of the population. Over the next 30 years, the number of over 65s in Australia will grow from 3.6 million to 8.9 million, an increase from 15% of the population to 35%. The effect on property can be expected to be profound.
So, what property trends may we expect to see?
There is an enormous opportunity in the property market to cater to the over 65s demographic who are in search of location and appropriate styles of residential property at appropriate pricing. A ‘one size fits all’ strategy is unlikely to be successful – location, amenity, transport and other lifestyle considerations will play their part.
Adam Ross of Savills Residential has noted that with a vast number of over 65s having no debt and living in homes that are bigger than they need, he has seen a surge in demand for two/three bed apartments in boutique developments, particularly in Double Bay, from over 65s.
“Once the children have left the nest, the parents don’t want to be floating around in a big family home that no longer meets their changing needs and lifestyle,” he said.
There is also the advantage of the huge gain in price differentiation through downsizing. As an example, Mr Ross said there would be a gap of circa $2m-$3m if a homeowner were to downsize from a house in Bellevue Hill to a flat in Double Bay.
“This also has a two-fold effect on the property market. By releasing the equity held in their homes, the parents are able to assist their children in getting on the property ladder,” he said.
The attractiveness of Double Bay, Sydney
Double Bay in particular has seen tremendous growth in the downsizer segment based on recent sales by Savills.
Chantal Hooper of Savills Residential noted that villages such as Double Bay offer a lifestyle and a range of facilities that appeal to this demographic who want a certain level of comfort and a sense of community, while still maintaining active social lives.
The Stamford Cosmpolitan in Double Bay has been a hotspot for downsizers with Ms Hooper selling eight apartments over the past 15 months to downsizers.
“The needs of each downsizer varies but the majority of my purchasers required single level living, lift access and to be within walking distance of supermarkets, shops and restaurants without having to get in their car. A turn-key apartment that is secure, low maintenance and offers peace of mind when travelling was also important, along with a spare room for grandchildren”, Ms Hooper said.
The Cosmpolitan is a boutique residential development; offering residents high security lift access, security parking, state of the art technology, and an on-site building manager.
Looking ahead, with our ageing population growing, the challenge will be for developers to build apartments to suit the needs and lifestyle of the over 65s market.