Retirees flock to coastal suburbs
Social life and access to family top the list when Brisbane seniors decide to retire, writes Property editor Michelle Hele
WHILE downsizing to an inner-city apartment is a growing trend for Brisbane retirees, seachanges have still remained popular.
Coastal suburbs top the list of areas with Queensland’s largest population of over-60s.
According to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Hervey Bay has the state’s highest number of 60 to 70-year-olds, with more than 6500 residing there.
Other coastal towns such as Mackay, Cooloola and Maroochy figure prominently in the top 10.
Developers have already honed in on the over-60s’ attraction to our coastal communities, with many rolling out substantial projects aimed at meeting demand.
But Grow Consulting Group managing director Ayda Shabanzadeh says she works with many clients who don’t necessarily want to move into a retirement village but still want to downsize because they no longer need their big suburban houses.
The retirees, she says, tend to not want to move far from where they are living and where their families are.
‘‘What we are actually seeing is a bit of a change from what people tend to want when they retire,’’ she says.
‘‘We find they want to move closer to family, so they are not likely to move very far away.’’
Obviously, while they want to be close to family, they still want to live in their own home.
Shabanzadeh says they deal with many downsizing clients who have lived in large family homes in suburbs such as Ascot or Hamilton and they appear to be attracted to new developments in suburbs such as Newstead, Teneriffe or Kelvin Grove.
They like being close to the city, but don’t necessarily want to live there. Shabanzadeh says infrastructure such as public transport, shopping facilities and access to hospitals is important.
Social life is also still important to them, she says, so developments with access to parks and walking tracks are also attracting retirees.
‘‘What we are also finding is that people that have larger homes as part of the transition to apartments, there is a trend for them to buy courtyard apartments,’’ Shabanzadeh says.
She says many are looking for a feeling of space and tend to be attracted to larger apartments, which may have gardens or large balconies.
Market analyst Simon Pressley, of Propertyology, says property investors looking to buy into retirement products with the hope of a good return may be disappointed.
He says Australia is entering an era with high numbers of people about to reach retirement age and unfortunately the majority of them will not have enough invested in either superannuation or personal investments to be able to retire without relying on a government pension.
‘‘Generally speaking, communities with a high percentage of people aged 50-plus are not good locations for property investors,’’ he says.
‘‘As people age and one day exit the workforce, they cease to contribute to the economy by way of employment, productivity and taxes.
‘‘As property investors, it is preferable to invest in locations with a higher percentage of people aged 17-34.’’
Pressley says retirees have different considerations for housing styles and locations and often they want to downsize to something low maintenance and without stairs.
‘‘Seachange and treechange are common,’’ he says. ‘‘Bayside or hinterland suburbs often have more appeal for retirees, proximity to the CBD isn’t as big a priority.’’
‘‘Lifestyle amenities such as golf clubs become more important.’’