Is retirement redundant?

Samantha Reece of PropertyESP recently attended the Property Council Retirement Conference as a panel speaker.  Here’s is Samantha’s synopsis.

“There is definitely some myths being busted about seniors living in the WA market – and especially because it looks very different from 20 years ago, when the retirement village concept really gained some traction.

But nowadays only 5% of our senior’s population live in a retirement village and much of this population, by the time they reach the senior’s age bracket,  have only just had their kids leave home (like me).

As such this cohort are not thinking about anything other than enjoying this new found freedom  and the term retirement is too much like “slowing down!”

Recent research by the WAPC showed that 75% of the State’s seniors were not living in age specific housing.  64% stated they had not moved from the family home because of lack of suitable locations, 44% because of financial reasons and 32% suitability of the choices available.

As such our future seniors’ population will be looking for flexibility and the new village models are in fact now offering several different housing choices including townhouses, apartments and high end care, all in one location – with the intent of matching the resident as their needs change.

Furthermore these villages have a variety of spaces which allow for reflection, activity and socialisation and hence add further value to their offering.  Vale the lawn bowls I say!

Retirement villages are certainly great for the economy and with a model of 211 villages by 2026 the WA economy can expect a contribution of over $40 million with wages and the like.

So while this model may stay – what is clear – is that the model of the retirement village that is predominant in WA, is about to evolve and change.  The question is, are you part of the movement?”


Midland showcases inspirational planning

Samantha Reece recently returned to Midland and what she saw gave her such a sense of pride that we have decided to blog about this today!

Samantha visited the MRA Midland site some 10 years ago with the Planning Institute of Australia and it was there that Kieran Kinsella sold the vision.  And while Sam was optimistic – she had trouble fathoming the entire rejuvenation of this area.

When she arrived in Midland this week – the vision was clear to see.

The St John of God Hospital, which is a real asset to the area, has naturally created a medical business hub.

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And the street art mixes a part humour and part history theme that is both quirky and engaging.

The housing is modern, and similar in style to the redeveloped areas of Subiaco and East Perth– which is really aspirational.  And as a result of this infusion of modern design, the heritage homes and design can be really showcased.


Overall it was a sight for sore eyes.

Samantha stated that Midland was a prime case of an organisation (MRA) setting a vision and then not deviating from it.

“Too often excellence in design is compromised because of the approvals process or market conditions.

“But Midland is an excellent example of how an overarching body can co-ordinate the rejuvenation of an area so that it truly is a delight.

“The harmony of the colours with the built form, and its embrace of its working class roots has now caused me to rate Midland as one of my favourite suburbs in Perth.

“WA needs to embrace this kind of precinct planning, so we can continue the growth of our state.”

We hope this blog has spurred you into going out to visit the Midland area.  It is well worth the trip – and we would love to hear your comments!

Retail focuses on personal touch

A slight deviation from property this week, as I write this post as a judge for the 2015 Property Council Retail Awards.

For the past three years I have judged these retail awards and this year presented some great cases of Shopping Centres, that thought outside of the square.

In particular Livingston Marketplace and Stockland Baldivis Shopping Centres demonstrated that a personal touch still goes a long way to creating tangible results.

Livingston mixed a social media focus with in-store shopping, through their “Make a wish” campaign. This marketing initiative provided a prize pool and shoppers were encouraged to visit the centre and photograph the items that they would spend the prize pool on. Then in order to enter the competition, they posted the photos of their wish list on the Centre’s Facebook page.

This programme was very successful and what was interesting, was that a number of shoppers actually returned to the Centre on several occasions in order to “tweak” their wish list.

Anyone understanding the psyche of female shoppers would have to feel confident that those that didn’t win the prize pool would still ultimately buy something (if not all of the items) off the wish list and hence this would trigger increased spending (which it did!).

The Stockland campaign for Baldivis was an entirely different offering.

Working collaboratively with the local Baldivis community, Baldivis Shopping Centre sponsored two key services, The Children’s Forest and Baldivis Fire Fighting Brigade, as part of their marketing initiatives.

The company then built on this further by creating two story books about these not for profit agencies, in conjunction with the local schools.

Both these books were printed and distributed as a means of creating a local story which kids and parents could relate to.

This truly altruistic approach was very refreshing, in what is otherwise a very commercial environment.

Too often, as large companies, we forget to tantalise our customers or even be seen as good corporate citizens and as such these two submissions were literally a breath of fresh air.

As we approach 2016 I urge you to think about your marketing efforts for the forthcoming 12 months and generate something that your staff can be proud of and which may also create a degree of legacy!

Bunbury ready to grow

I attended a breakfast briefing last week with the City of Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan and CEO Andrew Brien.

The Mayor predicted that there would be cranes in the Bunbury skyline within 12 months and he has good reason to feel optimistic.

The CBD of Bunbury is undergoing a retail renovation with several major precincts including Bunbury Forum, Minninup Forum, Plaza Shopping Centre and Stirling/Centrepoint undertaking significant expansion plans.

It was also particularly pleasing to see the City’s focus on connecting the Centrepoint Shopping Centre to the foreshore and while it will impact on the flow of traffic, it will also allow the City to be truly connected to its waterways.

In addition a Brisbane syndicate have purchased one of the 5 Koombana North land parcels in order to construct a six storey residential development which also encompasses a level of retail and commercial. This will add to the existing Marlston waterfront and is long overdue!

The City also has over 100 land parcels which they are currently rationalising and on that basis the CEO is attending Eastern States conferences with a prospectus of available parcels which are now for sale. It is obvious that the City is keen to get the ball rolling and build on its existing strengths.

Economically the City of Bunbury has a high ratio of residents that own their own home outright and commercial investment is strong ($120 million in sales in 2013/2014).

As such, as the Mayor stated, we just need to lift the market’s confidence and this wave of investment will undoubtedly have a positive knock-on effect.

If you are interested in viewing the City’s prospectus please contact me at It is an interesting read!20150415_085301-1