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?”

 

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Freedom Fit is the new Downsizer

You may have seen PropertyESP’s Director Samantha Reece on Channel 7 News Wednesday evening talking about the concept that she has hatched – known as Freedom Fit – under the WA Apartment Advocacy banner.

After conducting recent focus groups with seniors, Samantha found that when baby boomers moved to an apartment – while they were downsizing the living space they used – they were not downsizing on their mortgage or their lifestyle.  Hence the common term downsizer was now somewhat passe.

In fact these baby boomers knew that they would have an abundance of free time once they moved into an apartment and and hence sought locations that offered the corresponding lifestyle that would fill this time.

On that basis they sought locations that offered coffee strips, with natural elements such as the beach or river and also proximity to major hubs such as Perth or Fremantle.

In particular the apartment lifetyle also tended to be a motivating factor to encourage the residents to get out and try new activities and hence provided a new lease on life.

As a result of these findings, Samantha coined a new term – Freedom Fit – to better describe the motivation driving this older demographic.

These retirees were also keen on knowing their neighbours and recommended joint services within districts, such as a concierge service.

It was also evident that the senors in these groups were delighted with the apartment lifestyle and it is these added benefits that apartments offer over traditional retirement villages, which will now be a defining element of Perth’s evolving senior’s housing.

And what is clearly evident though is that  this age group will dominate the market for a while yet – and as such we need to be conscious of what they are looking for including more living space, extra bedrooms and storage.

As the market begins to become more sophisticated with its appetite for apartments – so must our choice of designs.

Interesting times ahead!

The Springs shows robust results

It seems that not everyone is as much of a fan of The Springs in Rivervale as PropertyESP is and so we conducted an analysis of settled sales from January 2014 – June 2016 to just work out what was really happening in this location.

Looking at 348 sales in that 2.5 year period there were a number of positive points that we felt should be brought to light.

By far the two bedroom sales have been ahead of one bedroom, with 2 bedroom apartments representing 55% of sales in 2014, then 60% in 2015 and 77% in the first half of 2016.  This compared to one bedroom sales of 45%, 40% and then 23% for the same correlating periods.  This could be heavily influenced though by what is on offer.

Over the two year period, median sales price for the apartments in The Springs has been $501,000 and price per square metre of $4910.

One bedroom sales achieved a median sales price of $420,000 and two bedroom $538,000.  Despite this price variation, when you compare price per sqm it is evident that the two bedroom apartments achieve the price they do, purely based on size.

Between 2014-2015 one bedroom prices only fell by 6% while two bedroom apartments fell by just 2%.  This was also reflected in the price per square metre results.

There was also a small price premium for those properties located opposite green space and the river over those located further away.

However, just like Scarborough, The Springs is completely vanilla in its offering.  The majority of apartments sold were 2 bedroom or 1 bedroom apartments. 97% of the sales were of apartments where the apartment complex had an outdoor entertaining area and 90% a gym and pool.  As such, having the amenities such as gym, pool or entertaining area had no influence over the price per square metre between the projects.

With the area already offering a large number of apartments, any new entrants should be considering alternative amenities as well as various bedroom configurations in order to provide a distinctive point of difference.

While The Springs appears to be weathering the current market with a degree of robustness, it is evident that in order to stand out from the crowd, incoming developers need to be more creative in their offering.

It will certainly be interesting to see how The Springs evolves over the next 12 months with the opening of the 4.5 star Aloft hotel and then the stadium in 2018.

Regardless, this is a location which is sought after due to its proximity to the river, freeway, airport, stadium and casino and on that basis is a precinct to be closely monitored over the next 18 months.

Still a place for premium in Perth

Samantha Reece recently attended the official opening of Aria in Swanbourne.

Developed by Blackburne Group, this project is priced from just $515,000 for one bedroom apartments and reflects a standard that, to date, is unsurpassed.

While some companies include elements such as a private dining room or boardroom in their premium developments, Aria has really taken luxury to the next level.

The entertaining area was stunning with uninterrupted views of Perth City and not only included a lap pool and sun deck, but bar area and private dining and lounge that reflected a multimillion dollar mansion in the Western Suburbs.

Coupled with a yoga room, gym, sauna, steam room and wine cellar, Aria successfully conveys a luxurious resort lifestyle.

In particular, the penthouse apartments were designed to reflect a two storey New York loft apartment and this further added to the cosmopolitan atmosphere.

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With much talk about the apartment market being more focused on affordability, it is nice to see that some developers recognise that downsizers in fact are looking to spoil themselves, even though they are forfeiting their four bedroom/2 bathroom home for a much smaller domain.

With 16 sales since the unveiling, the Aria project is also demonstrating that there are affluent buyers in the market, but that they are also discerning.

With the apartment market evolving in Perth, we need to remember that while choice of location is important so is choice of style and price point.

PropertyESP has no financial connection to Blackburne and this review has been written entirely independent of Blackburne and its associates.  We just like to share with our readers the evolving trends in the WA property scene!