WA retirement village market trending upwards – but strata title units also finding favour with buyers

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Villages and over-55s developments have seen their best sales month since before COVID – but operators need to be more proactive in ensuring their stock is appealing to the right market, agents tell us.

Mike Graebner (pictured right), the Managing Director of the Perth-based Seniors Own Real Estate which specialises in over-55’s developments, says the WA market has not reached its pre-COVID levels, but there is an upwards trend in village unit sales.

“My assessment is that the older demographic is a little bit slower out of the starting block,” he said.

However, feedback from buyers is that the added security and safety of retirement villages is what has motivated them to enter the market.

There is also now much more activity in the wider residential market after the significant downturn in the last four years, as demand increases in the wake of the Government’s stimulus measures.

“Houses are being sold more quickly when someone makes the decision to move into a retirement village so those unconditional sales are happening a lot quicker,” Mike said, noting that Seniors Own has just enjoyed its best sales month since February.

“However, we still need more activity in the market,” he stressed.

Mike says they have found that some of the smaller, established units on the market are quite dated and operators need to be more proactive in modernising them.

Seniors Own is also seeing a trend towards more over-55s developments where residents own their own title, unlike a traditional village where residents have a long-term lease.

“More people are looking at alternatives,” he said. “It also comes back to location and people’s priorities. We know there is continuing demand for traditional retirement leases, but there are people out there who won’t be convinced so they compromise on location and buy where they have their own title.”

Strata titled developments are also attracting buyers for other reasons.

Seniors Own is currently selling the Amherst Apartments, 45 two- and three-bedroom strata titled apartments for over-55s in Canning Vale, 16km from the Perth CBD.

Developed by WA’s largest private operator Aegis to sit along their new 133-bed Amherst aged care home, which is connected to the apartments through a private undercover walkway, Mike says interest in this development is coming from couples where one spouse requires residential care and the other wants to live nearby without having to make the move themselves.

The apartments are priced from $355,000.

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Lauren is the Editor at DCM Group and has guided its range of media including The Weekly SOURCE, The Daily RESOURCE and The Donaldson Sisters since 2016. With 13 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and commentator, Lauren is the only journalist to have attended every session of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, producing 300 issues of the subscriber-only The Daily COMMISSION which offers exclusive insights and analysis of the issues surrounding the Royal Commission and the aged care sector.