Its official – house sales have dropped by more than 50%. So why are some operators doing such good sales?

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The Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank gave a speech two weeks ago where he noted that pre GFC one in 12 houses changed hands every year but today that figure is just one in 25. On top of this is a collapse in the growth in capital gains. Many sales people in the village sector will say this explains why ILU sales have slumped too.

But this is simply not true. We keep reporting that some villages are selling well, in fact at pre GFC levels of up to 4 ILU’s per month in new developments. How are they doing it? My discussions with them clearly show they understand that they are in the ‘people’ business, not the ‘property’ business.

In this week’s newsletter we have Dalkeith Heights village in Gippsland not missing a beat in its new development sales over the past 3 years. Sixty residents have bought in. The Oak Tree Group state this week that it will grow from 8 villages to 12 this year. Blue Care has 80% pre sales before it turns its first sod of soil with its new Azure Blue village in QLD.

The fact is that every day new people have new needs to satisfy. And it is nearly always health, together with physical and mental security related. We as an industry have to simply position that we provide this solution.

By way of example, last week I was in Queensland and interviewed a resident that moved over Christmas to the Elements Third Age village at Springwood, 30 kilometres from her home of 21 years in up market Paddington. Her husband had passed away and she wanted space and security to pursue her crafts, plus companionship. Money and the DMF were not a factor in her decisions.

The changed housing market is now a fact of life. As Westpac economist Andrew Hanlan says, ‘The prospect of sizeable capital gains is just not there” and the high dollar and rising unemployment won’t change in the medium term.

Rather than cutting back on sales efforts, professional marketers are investing positively in their businesses, clear that health related offers are working.

We all need to be united in how villages are positioned, broadcasting the same ‘people’ focussed message. To prove people are looking for a solution listed below are the Top 10 searches in February on villages.com.au.

1. Beauty Point Resort (Beauty Point) 3951 hits
2. Mt Gravatt Retirement Village (TriCare) 3647 hits
3. Compton Gardens Retirement Village (TriCare) 3506 hits
4. Keperra Sanctuary Hostel (Lend Lease PrimeLife Aged Care) 3401 hits
5. Karrinyup Lakes Lifestyle Village (Karrinyup Lakes Lifestyle Village) 3147 hits
6. James Ommaney Village (TriCare) 3130 hits
7. Brookland Village – a Live Life Village (Live Life Villages) 3022 hits
8. Grand United Constitution Hill (Australian Unity Retirement Living) 2731 hits
9. Constitution Hill Aged Care (Australian Unity Retirement Living) 2713 hits
10. Lifestyle Manor (Australian Unity Retirement Living) 2668 hits

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The Weekly SOURCE is the leading media for retirement living and aged care businesses, delivering sector-specific news through four mastheads. Operating as part of The DCM Group, The Weekly SOURCE also provides a directory of proven sector specialists and an insights exchange.