What retirees want | The West Australian | Ralph Lauren

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Racing to meet the needs and desires of ageing Western Australians, the amenities and attractions of over-55s communities have expanded rapidly over recent years to ensure the ultimate comfort and convenience for residents.

Stockland WA General Manager Col Dutton said increased demand for different retirement living options was the result of considerable growth in the over-55s demographic in WA.

“We’ve seen amenity-rich, well-connected retirement communities featuring high-quality design being incredibly popular with the WA market,” he said.

Noting strong demand for properties at Stockland’s over-55s community, Aspire Calleya in Treeby, Mr Dutton said there was a number of key factors which influenced the decisions of buyers in this space, the first being buyers did not want to compromise on quality when downsizing.

“We’ve found many early retirees are choosing to relocate to communities that offer resort-style living options with a focus on premium home design,” he said.

“Buyers in this demographic are wanting to enjoy their golden years, so high-quality homes that feel spacious and have features such as entertaining areas, guest rooms and a great kitchen are often very popular.”

Mr Dutton said those looking to downsize or enter retirement early were generally also looking to maintain their independence with as much freedom and choice as possible, especially when it came to payment structure.

“While the traditional retirement village models remain popular, we have also seen that residents like that there are no leasehold agreements or exit fees within our Aspire Calleya community,” he said.

“Essentially, Aspire residents own their home and have the ability to sell or pass it down to family members – which can be a great option for many retirees and downsizers.”

Coming back to amenities, Mr Dutton said there was strong demand for opportunities to be part of an active, social and well-connected community.

“Having easy access to plenty of amenities, such as shopping centres, schools, cafes, public transport, parks and green space, often plays a key role in influencing buyers’ decisions,” he said.

“Additionally, many retirees enjoy being able to socialise within their community and maintain their health and fitness.”

Going hand in hand with this, Mr Dutton said proximity to family and friends was a major consideration.

“Many retirees consider how family-friendly the homes and community are when they look into new living options, as they may be responsible for taking care of grandchildren or hosting family events,” he said.

“Having access to facilities such as a pool, a cafe, parks and playgrounds, or even an early-learning school is favourable for many over-55s.”

As with other buyer demographics, Mr Dutton said over-55s wanted peace of mind when it came to both safety and the need for maintenance, making a lock-up-and-leave lifestyle a popular feature.

“We have seen that low-maintenance living and security are often priorities for the over-55s demographic,” he said.

“Buyers want to feel safe and relaxed within their community, so gated communities that provide a lock-up-and-leave lifestyle generally appeal to this market.”

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