Seven reasons to get excited about retirement living

Western Australians are living longer and our expectations of age are changing. This is a cause for celebration – and points to a bright future for the retirement living sector. Here are seven reasons why retirement living is poised to prosper…

  1. The cohort of retirees is growing: According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 14% of WA’s population is now over 65 and another 5.3% is nearing retirement within the next five years. The WA Government estimates an extra 500,000 WA residents will be over 65 by 2026 alone.


  2. A house remains our biggest asset: The federal government’s Retirement Income Review, published in November, found the family home is the main asset for most Australians in retirement and superannuation accounts for only small share of net wealth. That makes rightsizing a smart strategy for security in retirement.


  3. House prices are on the up: CoreLogic says Perth house prices increased by 1.8% in March and 6.3% over the past 12 months. The median Perth house price now sits at $527,833. In comparison, unit prices have risen by 4% over the last year to a median price of $385,265. This is good news for WA rightsizers looking at retirement living options.


  4. Covid-19 has been a catalyst for change: Many over 50s struggled with the social isolation of their existing neighbourhoods and saw another way of living – one where grocery deliveries, outdoor singalongs, caring concierges and balcony bingo eased some of the burdens of Covid-19 lockdowns. Nearly a third (31%) of over 50s are now more likely to rightsize because of Covid-19, according to a report from What’s more 64% are attracted to living in a “supportive and helpful community”.


  5. Retirees are ready to embrace technology: also found Covid-19 has educated older Australians about the benefits of technology. Whether they are ordering online, connecting with friends and family over Zoom or undertaking a virtual inspection of a village, retirees are increasingly turning to technology to make their lives easier.


  6. Villages are going vertical: The 2020 Retirement Living Census reported that 56% of villages currently under development are either entirely or partly vertical – that’s up from just 9% in 2019. Vertical villages cater to the growing cohort of retirees who want to rightsize their family home but upsize amenity in an inner-city area.


  7. Retirement living is synonymous with choice: The McGowan Government’s Ageing with Choice framework, released in late 2019, prioritises age-friendly communities, homes that support ageing in place and affordable housing innovations – all things delivered by the retirement living sector.


So, what’s on the horizon? The Aged Care Royal Commission’s Final Report released in March, lays the foundations for a new aged care system and poses many questions for retirement living operators. The May federal budget is expected to include responses to the Royal Commission.

How can the retirement living leaders seize the opportunities ahead?

With our own local industry review ongoing, join the Property Council on Thursday 13 May as we present new Commerce Minister, Amber-Jade Sanderson, in one of her first public engagements in the role.

Learn more about the government's vision for the industry and listen to our expert panel, including Ben Myers, the Property Council’s Executive Director Retirement Living, David Mooney, the 2020 Programmed Village Manager of the Year, Amber Cartwright, Director of Ansell Consulting and Michael Lawson, Managing Director of Northerly Group Australia.

Join us to ensure you are ready to respond to retirement living sector trends. Register today.