Melbourne has the nation’s highest percentage of high density downsizer-friendly apartments,  according to a new nationwide analysis.

Independent global property consultancy Knight Frank has published new research about the state of the nation’s downsizer housing market.

The research finds that retirees are the nation’s most active downsizers, although it also finds that entrepreneurs and families were increasingly seeking to move from standalone houses into attached dwellings. 

The research also finds that downsizers are looking for dwellings with at least three bedrooms, along with carparking spaces and generous living and entertaining areas. 

Melbourne high density projects cater for downsizers

According to the Knight Frank research, some 21 per cent of Melbourne high density projects to be built between 2020 and 2022 will be made up of three or more bedroom apartments.

This makes Melbourne, along with Brisbane, the nation’s leader when it comes to the upcoming pipeline of high density downsizer-friendly projects.

Over the next two years, Melbourne’s Bayside area is expected to have the highest percentage of three bedroom or more high density apartments, followed by the Eastern Suburbs, Inner West and Inner East.

In addition, some 50 per cent of upcoming Melbourne medium density projects will be made up of three or more bedroom dwellings between 2020-2022. 

Medium density projects include villas, townhouses and apartment buildings three storeys or under.

More downsizer friendly apartments being produced across Australia

Across Australia, dwellings with three or more bedrooms are taking up a greater proportion of new projects, in a potential sign that downsizing is becoming more popular.

Between 2017-19, 70 per cent new medium density project dwellings were three or more bedrooms, but between 2020-2022 this is expected to jump to 81 per cent. For high density projects, the increase over the same period is from 14 per cent to 19 per cent.

Downsizing cheaper than maintaining a house

The research finds that the costs of maintaining a downsizer-friendly apartment is likely to be lower than a standalone house.

For instance, the research says a ‘prime’ three-bedroom house on 800 square metres is likely to cost $9-15,000 per quarter to maintain, while a ‘super prime’ five bedroom house on 1,400 square metres would cost $21-27,000 per quarter.

This compares to anywhere between $3,-8,000 per quarter for a ‘prime’ downsizer apartment, depending on the level of on-site amenities and whether the project is low or high-rise.

“For active retirees, many buyers tell us their house is no longer required to provide the lifestyle they want,” said Knight Frank’s Head of Residential Research, Australia Michelle Ciesielski.

“Often the cost to upkeep the home, pool and garden outweighs the surplus space they once desired. Downsizing the living areas is not part of this movement – the yard most certainly – but the new luxury apartment must be the right size, with amenities to match.

“Rightsizers want to be in a walkable location with proximity to activity hubs and amenities.

“From the apartment itself they desire high security and concierge for lock-up-and-leave, a reputable developer and builder with certainty of delivery, single-level, in-house amenities, a good view and aspect, access to transport links, a sense of community within the complex, smart living technology and a new modern building.”

More information

Downsizing.com.au is Australia’s leading downsizing and retirement property site.

You can search for downsizing-friendly properties across Australia.

You may also want to read about expert tips to find the perfect downsizer apartment.