NZ operators continue to have more confidence than Australian village operators in their business model. Ryman has purchased another development, a one hectare site at Aberfeldie, 9km north-west of the Melbourne CBD, between the airport and the city.
The new village, which will follow the NZ model of co-located retirement living and aged care and cater for over 200 residents, puts Ryman well on track to meet its target of opening five villages here by 2020.
Their first village opened at Wheelers Hill in 2014. The first residents are just about to move into their Nellie Melba village at Brandon Park, while site works is due to start at their Coburg site later this year.
They are also in the design phase for villages at Burwood East, Mt Eliza, Mt Martha and Geelong.
Ryman Healthcare Chief Development Officer Andrew Mitchell says about the location of the Aberfeldie site:
“There is a real shortage of retirement care options in the wider Essendon and Moonee Ponds area, and we believe residents will like the concept of a Ryman-style village in the area offering a continuum of care.”
In total, the operator now has 16 villages in its pipeline in NZ and Victoria that will lift its resident numbers by 65% to 17,500 residents across 48 villages.
Demand for their existing 32 villages is growing too. Ryman ended the financial year with less than 1% of the portfolio available for resale while occupancy in their care centres was 97%. Resale volumes at their existing villages also grew by 15% – compare this to sales in the wider NZ real estate market which dropped 14%.
Will they see the same success here?