Empty nesters in Melbourne are cashing in home equity and downsizing to inner city apartments.

Melbourne’s city centre (and we’re talking postcode 3000) ranks as the 9th most popular location for downsizers across Australia.

This is very different from their northern cousins in Sydney, for whom the city’s leafy North Shore takes out four of the top ten spots for downsizing.

In the Sydney versus Melbourne debate, could it be that Melbournites are more urbane than suburban?

Empty nesters drive inner Melbourne market

The preferences of empty nesters in Melbourne aren’t all that surprising. The fact is, one of the property industry’s worst kept secrets is that downsizers have been driving Melbourne’s inner city apartment market.

Despite often being overlooked by developers, downsizers are becoming a dominant buying force in the Melbourne CBD. And why not? They’re cashed up after selling suburban family homes, and empty nesters want to explore the cafés, restaurants and culture for which Melbourne is renowned (sorry Sydney – but you come up trumps for glorious beaches).

In August 2017 for example News Limited reported that downsizers are becoming Melbourne’s fastest-growing buyer demographic. The Australian Financial Review noted that downsizers have paid $1.5 million to settle Toorak apartments – in cash no less!

What downsizers in Melbourne really want

While these sorts of media reports focus on market metrics like property values and buyer demographics, they can overlook one key aspect of downsizers’ intentions. And that’s the reality that empty nesters in Melbourne have a real opportunity to enjoy everything that inner city living can deliver – a high quality, low maintenance lifestyle with the freedom to “lock and leave” when travel and adventure beckon.

The bottom line

The upshot of all this is that downsizers in the Emerald City love the North Shore – and understandably so. It’s a fantastic part of Sydney with good transport, great retail outlets and a wealth of medical facilities.

But if you’re an empty nester in Melbourne and you want to share some time with like-minded neighbours, it could pay to take the tram into the city to check out some of the apartments listed on Downsizing.com.au. The convenience and cosmopolitan vibe could make downsizing your best move yet!


Greg Oddy is Director of Sales and Marketing at Seniors Housing Online and Downsizing.com.au