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

The Courier-Mail - Property - - INFOCUS -

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.’’

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