Vertical villages on the rise

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The number of vertical villages is increasing, with 41% of new retirement village developments in 2020-21 being classified as vertical – an eight-percentage-point increase over the previous year.

Data from the Retirement Living Council’s PwC/Property Council Retirement Census Snapshot Report shows that 18% of the total retirement village market is now made up solely of vertical developments, around double the market share from 2016, with combination villages also growing.

According to John Leo, co-founder of Mbark, changes in housing planning policies – at least in NSW – are pushing developers towards vertical projects.

“They’re encouraging vertical villages, but what they’re not encouraging is doing more the traditional kind of villa-style villages. If you do have a village like that, it’s likely not to be replicated.

“It’s almost probably impossible to do one now with the changes that have been made in the housing planning policies,” he said.

Vertical villages opened in the past two years include Bupa Sutherland, Encore Apartments by ECH, The Pavilion North Kirra by Aura Holdings, and RetireAustralia’s The Verge, with more in the pipeline from various operators.