If you haven’t bought your own home by the time you retire, you’ll need to find a secure and appropriate rental property instead. Yes, it can be hard to find a property right now. But there are still plenty of options available, and some new initiatives specifically designed to help you.
Why are more older Australians renting?
According to recent research by the Grattan Institute, older Australians who rent privately are more likely to suffer financial stress than homeowners, or renters in the public housing sector. As the cost of housing soars ever higher, the number of renters will increase. Older women are particularly vulnerable, and women aged 55 and over are the fastest-growing group to suffer homelessness in Australia. This may be due to taking years out of work to raise children, or divorce or other factors.
In response to these issues, various new initiatives have been introduced, often by the private sector and not-for-profit organisations. Here are a few you may not have heard of that herald some great new ideas in housing for the future.
Senior flatmate listings
Flat listings are an opportunity to join forces with others in a similar situation and rent a larger property to share. This is great for sociable types who don’t mind sharing and would like to pool funds to get a nicer property.
Our Downsizing FREE Senior Flatmates listings allow you to either post an ad to find flatmates or search listings to see what’s available. As we mentioned, listings are free, whether you're renting a room or looking for one, so take advantage of that empty room if you’re an empty nester and gain some company.
Another flat listing service is Calyptus Co-Living, which specialises in providing secure and long-term housing for older singles in good-quality, modern homes. Each property houses three people, and each resident has their own air-conditioned bedroom with an ensuite. Other rooms, including the kitchen, laundry and gardens, are shared. All bills and maintenance are covered in your rent, so you have cost certainty. The team at Calyptus will work to find you compatible housemates so sharing is not just practical but also supportive and enjoyable for all residents.
Widening your rental search overseas
If you want to head overseas to reduce your cost of living, there’s the Amandesa Bali retirement complex, established by Community Housing Limited and located in Sanur, Bali. With a pool and lush gardens, it's designed for Australian retirees on lower incomes and little superannuation, with nine units available close to the beach and markets. While this is currently a relatively unique offering, it will be interesting to see if similar properties become more readily available in the future. You can find out more about Amandesa on the Community Housing website.
And if the thought of retiring overseas has caught your attention, read our recent article.
New ideas for the future
Housing affordability is an ongoing issue, and it is predicted that today’s young renters will continue to rent into retirement. By 2056, it’s predicted that just 66 per cent of retirees will own their homes, down from 80 per cent today.
It’s clear that new ideas are needed for home ownership for older Australians, and we are already seeing some today.
In Fremantle, Western Australia, philanthropic developer My Homes is currently building 18 homes for older women at risk of homelessness. The idea with these homes is to provide beautiful, comfortable homes as well as a sense of community and long-term security for women who may otherwise fall through the cracks.
Nightingale is another not-for-profit developer that builds sustainable, affordable housing in Melbourne and other places. It aims to preallocate up to 20 per cent of its homes to community housing providers, who then give affordable long-term leases to various groups. These include Indigenous Australians and Torres Strait Islanders, single women over the age of 55 and individuals with disabilities. To find out more about their priority ballot, visit their website. You can be kept up to date with new developments and sign up for the ballot here.
Not everyone needs to own a home, but secure housing should be available for all, and it’s great to see new ideas around this.
Want to learn more about making the most of your next 30 years?
Retirement living can be the best time of your life.
We’re committed to making life better for the over 55s. Check out downsizing.com.au for more insights and great advice on living life to the fullest. We have a great range of properties for the over 55s to help you do that with like-minded people in land lease communities and retirement villages.