Empty-nesters concerned about having insufficient funds for retirement need look no further than the family home.

A landmark new report by Aussie Home Loans and CoreLogic shows property values across Australia have climbed up to 1,496% over the last 25 years, leaving long term home owners with a wealth of home equity.

From $74,000 to $1.1 million in 25 years

The report, entitled 25 years of housing trends, dishes up some remarkable findings. Most notably, you don’t have to live in a blue chip suburb for your family home to have clocked up impressive capital growth.

The suburb that has recorded the biggest capital gains nationwide since 1993 is Suffolk Park on the NSW far north coast. You may not be familiar with the neighbourhood but it’s doubtful the locals will be concerned. Median house values in Suffolk Park have skyrocketed from a tiny $74,000 in 1993 to $1.185 million today. Incredible!

Average annual gains of $18,400

It turns out that nationally, long term home owners have racked up average dollar growth in their homes at a rate of $18,400 a year over the last quarter-century. Put differently, the median house value across Australia has climbed from $111,500 to $571,400. That’s a lot of equity that could be used to fund your ideal retirement.

Median values could soar to $6.3 million

Will downsizing see you miss out on future capital gains? Unlikely. According to the Aussie Home Loans/CoreLogic report, over the next 25 years the national median house value could rise to $2.9 million. Sydney’s median house value could reach $6.3 million and Melbourne $5.8 million.

The beauty of downsizing is that it keeps your hand in the property market so that you and your family can continue to enjoy long term price growth. More importantly, downsizing can be a sensible strategy to tap into past gains and enjoy a low maintenance and financially secure retirement.


Greg Oddy is Director of Sales and Marketing for SeniorsHousingOnline.com.au and Downsizing.com.au