The latest PwC Australia/Property Council Retirement Census is out and the results are a clear reflection of a sector that is not buoyant.
The 2020 census surveyed 52 operators across 586 villages and over 65,000 units.
Check out the graph above.
As you can see, the average selling days between the date of vacant possession to settlement continues to climb from a low of 194 days in 2017 – when it took around six months to move in a new resident. Today, it’s closer to nine months, or 50% longer.
Despite the attractive selling proposition of villages – the national average price of a two-bedroom ILU has held steady at $463,000, up from $459,000 in 2019, about 67% of the average median house price – many operators have shifted resources away from sales to save costs during the pandemic.
46% of prospective sales cancelled in 2020
COVID also had a direct impact with the survey finding 46% of prospective sales cancelled because the prospective resident couldn’t or decided not to sell the family home.
The sample of 52 operators also highlights the collapse of planned developments, with the new village home supply pipeline for FY2021 expected to be just 1,481 units.
In the 2019 census, the same operators predicted this year they would deliver 2,542 new homes in new villages. Now they are predicting 1,481, with just 780 new homes being in new villages (i.e. about seven villages). The brakes have obviously been placed on new capital investment.
While the data shows an increase in development activity in FY22 and FY23 (see chart above), much of the construction is in new stages of existing villages.
New stages make up 52% of planned construction in FY21, and then drops to 45% in FY22 and FY23 respectively.
Vertical and combination villages also dominate new developments with 56% of villages under construction either vertical or a combination of vertical and broadacre/horizontal.