Downsizers have become a growing and lucrative target market for Australia’s property industry, thanks to the booming detached house market and important changes in consumer behaviour linked to COVID-19.
House prices surging
According to CoreLogic, Australian capital city house values jumped by 1.1 per cent over the three months to 30 November, while unit values fell by -0.6 per cent over the same period.
Downsizers are increasingly taking advantage of the strong house market to sell up and move into their new ‘forever’ home. They are also using their leftover home sale proceeds to boost their retirement funds to offset record low interest rates.
COVID-19 strengthens downsizing value proposition
At the same time, Downsizing.com.au has published new research which shows that the COVID-19 pandemic will strengthen and change Australia’s over 50s housing industry.
The research finds that around one in three people are more likely to downsize because of COVID-19, with key motivations including being able to move to a like-minded and friendly community and reducing maintenance chores.
Other findings are that:
- COVID-19 has educated consumers about the disadvantages of being isolated in their existing neighbourhood and conversely the benefits of living with friends and community managers in a dedicated downsizing development
- Downsizers are likely to be increasingly looking for developments with more personal space, either within or around the home, along with their own parking spot so they do not need to rely on public transport
- Downsizers have become more footloose and are increasingly attracted to areas which have been less impacted by COVID-19, such as regional areas, or want to move closer to family and friends
- Irrespective of the COVID-19 economic dip, over 50s remain in a strong position to fund a retirement living purchase as they have enjoyed years or decades of capital growth in their family home value.
- Downsizers have also been motivated to move due to the fact they’ve been increasingly exposed to the maintenance and other chores of their existing family home while being forced indoors due to the COVID-19
- COVID-19 has educated potential downsizers about the benefits of looking for, and inspecting, homes online
Downsizing.com.au co-CEO Amanda Graham said the report showed that downsizing and retirement living was emerging from the COVID-19 with a strengthened value proposition.
“We can see in this report how COVID-19 has accelerated many over 50s housing trends already underway, including a desire for independent living and greater space and transport autonomy,” Ms Graham said.
“In addition, COVID-19 has encouraged people to move to new areas, which they perceive as being safe but also where they can find new friends and enjoy a great lifestyle.
“During COVID-19, we have also really seen a very strong structural shift to consumer search activity on digital channels.”
About Australia’s downsizing market and Downsizing.com.au
Australia’s downsizing market is already large, and thanks to the nation’s ageing population, has incredible growth potential.
Over 50s comprise 27 per cent of Australia’s population, but control 50 per cent of the nation’s wealth and 46 per cent of its disposable income. In addition, around half of Australia’s over 50s are open to downsizing.
However, according to research, around 94 per cent of over 50s dislike the way brands and marketers communicate with them.
Downsizing.com.au has been Australia’s leading over 50s property portal since 2003.
Because we understand downsizers, and know how to communicate with them, we can tailor outreach campaigns to help property developers and real estate agents generate leads from this lucrative market.
Thanks to our partnership with OverSixty.com.au, we can reach around one million website users per month, along with more than 500,000 Facebook followers.