New research sheds a light on what downsizers are looking for, and a new  NSW Central Coast development ticks all the boxes.

I recently caught up with Real Estate Institute of NSW President-Elect Brett Hunter of Raine & Horne Terrigal/Avoca Beach, who has been involved in research looking at what matters most to downsizers.

Interestingly, empty-nesters have a very different wish-list from first home buyers – a group of buyers who are often competing for similar apartment developments and off the plan projects.

As Brett explains, while first home buyers are often keen for lifestyle facilities like a pool or gym, downsizers want extra storage, and three bedrooms – one to use as a study and another for guests.

Large entertaining areas are also high on a downsizer’s list of must-haves.  Brett adds that downsizers also have the life experience to check for small but important details like gas outlets on decks and balconies – just to round off the entertaining experience.

Off the plan can be ideal for downsizers

According to Brett, off the plan buying can make a lot of sense for downsizers. Along with the time taken to sell the family home, empty nesters typically also need time to go through the decluttering process. Contrary to popular opinion, Brett adds that many downsizers don’t view this process in a negative light, but rather as an opportunity to modernise their furniture.

The research Brett has conducted highlights that empty nesters are still interested in a sea and tree change, though they want to be close to family. For Sydney-based downsizers that means locations within a reasonable radius of Sydney – areas like Wollongong, the Central Coast, and even Newcastle, are favourites.

Most notably, Brett found that downsizers are snapping up the penthouses in many apartment developments, and relishing the ‘lock and leave’ lifestyle.

One Central Coast property, ‘Vista’ in Gosford, demonstrates the sort of qualities that downsizers are looking for.  

This stunning 35-apartment development offers a level walk to the entertainment precinct, the beach and the railway station. Many apartments offer water views, and floor to ceiling windows invite the outdoors in. Lift access is provided, the gated complex is very secure, and pets are allowed.

Vista is definitely worth a look if you’re hoping to downsize to a more relaxed pace of life in a coastal location just an hour from Sydney.


Greg Oddy is Director of Sales and Marketing at