A leading Australian developer Crown Group has highlighted an emerging trend in Australia which sees seniors downsizing earlier for lifestyle reasons.
Crown Group Chairman and Group CEO Iwan Sunito has dubbed the trend “not retiring, but refiring.”
The trend has arrived in the Lake Macquarie/Newcastle region with older members of the the community selling off their more spacious residences in the suburbs and purchasing smaller units, many in high rise developments, or in the popular over 50’s villages which are springing up all over the suburbs.
After selling their home of many years for over a million dollars, or maybe a bit less, depending on the location; along the seaboard; near the lake; or out in the suburbs; in most cases they can purchase a brand new two or three bedroom unit for around $650,000 to $750,000.
Life is much easier for the retiree when they pick up an additional few hundred thousand in the transaction and there is less work mowing the ‘yard’ or ‘tending to the garden’ on a 600 or 800 square metre block. And they usually have lots of friendly, new neighbours, maybe a heated pool, and other facilities at their doorstep.
Once viewed as a decision dominated by declining health, downsizing has today become a quest for a better lifestyle for older Australians, Mr Sunito explained.
“Australia is seeing a new trend where older people are downsizing to smaller homes to upgrade their lifestyle,” Mr Sunito said.
“The concept of downsizing does not have to mean a decrease in life quality, but quite the opposite, it can mean moving forward with style, having an upgraded life in a shared community, where life’s most important conveniences are right at your doorstep.
“Downsizers are not retiring, but refiring,” Mr Sunito added.
Research by the Australian Housing and Urban Research institute with UNSW in 2014 found that most downsizers are attached to their community and according to a 2016 Productivity Commission study into housing decisions of older Australians, the main reason they don’t downsize sooner is lack of options near their home.