Lifestyle locations have surged in popularity during the first two months of 2021, as over 50s search for locations with vibrant urban centres and natural beauty.
Areas including Hervey Bay, the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Adelaide in South Australia, Newcastle in NSW and Mandurah in Western Australia have all increased their ranking in Downsizing.com.au’s list of most searched suburbs.
According to Downsizing.com.au’s CEO Amanda Graham, the shift towards lifestyle locations potentially reflects the recent strong increase in Australian house prices, which is giving downsizers more buying power and therefore the ability to move to these locations.
Ms Graham said the move is also likely to reflect a growing desire by downsizers to move to areas which allowed them to easily access urban activity - such as cafes, bars and arts and cultural facilities - along with beaches and waterways.
These features are likely to have increased in popularity in the post-COVID 19 era, as people look to move out of capital cities but still be close to the type of activities they used to be able to enjoy in these cities,” Ms Graham said.
Downsizing.com.au has decided to take a look at these increasingly popular lifestyle areas and what they have to offer.
Hervey Bay – Queensland
This probably shouldn’t be surprising, given that its stunning South East Queensland bayside location – renowned for humpback whale watching – lends itself perfectly to a relaxed coastal lifestyle.
It’s also the home base for many grey nomads, with an abundance of RV-friendly retirement living communities situated here.
One example is Fraser Shores, a vibrant community offering spacious two- and three-bedroom homes surrounded by landscaped gardens with onsite RV, caravan and boat parking. Located within Hervey Bay’s major health services precinct, Fraser Shores is also convenient to retail and dining and has onsite resort-style community facilities.
If waterfront living is your ideal, Ingenia Lifestyle at Urangan also offers boat and caravan parking in a gated complex adjacent to the bay. This master-planned and pet friendly community also boasts lifestyle facilities including a swimming pool, bowling green and recreation centre.
Find out more: Search for Hervey Bay properties
Mandurah – Western Australia
Next up is Mandurah, Western Australia’s largest regional city located about an hour south of Perth.
Known for its magnificent beaches and an estuary twice the size of Sydney Harbour, this area represents an excellent retirement location for downsizers seeking laid-back coastal living and outdoor attractions. It has moved into third place, up from fifth in 2020.
Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate Mandurah Gardens Estate’s location on the southern boundary of the Serpentine River, along with its 17 acres of lush parkland.
This affordable downsizing property has a range of freestanding two- and three-bedroom homes and community facilities such as a pool, bowling green, library, community bus and men’s shed.
For downsizers seeking a coastal lifestyle, Murray River Retirement Village is just a short drive from the Mandurah foreshore, where you can walk, swim, kayak and fish. This boutique village is also only 600 metres from the newly renovated Mandurah Forum and boasts a pool, bowling green and community bus.
Find out more: Search for Mandurah properties
Newcastle – New South Wales
Newcastle – once known as an industrial town with a moribund main street – has been reinvented as a lifestyle location.
The new light rail line down Hunter St has spurred new apartment development, which in turn has triggered the opening of shops, cafes and restaurants. Inner-city Newcastle downsizers also have easy access to beaches and the Honeysuckle waterfront.
A quiet achiever, Newcastle rose from position seven in 2020 to six so far this year in Downsizing.com.au’s search rankings.
Caption: Newcastle offers its residents the best of both coastal and city living
Newcastle has a range of retirement living properties to suit different budgets and lifestyle preferences. Cumberland Glen, for example, is an affordable and pet-friendly boutique village of 36 quality two-bedroom homes. With great access to shops, medical facilities and transport, Cumberland Glen also offers residents a community centre complete with library, games and craft area, alfresco dining areas and men’s shed.
If inner-city high-rise living – or even a penthouse retirement apartment – sound more like your style, Long Tan Village is Newcastle’s first vertical retirement community. Residents have a choice of two-bedroom plus study apartments, all with a 24/7 emergency response system and allocated parking. They also have exclusive access to the Sky Lounge, which boasts spectacular views over Newcastle’s harbour and CBD.
For golfers, Aveo Newcastle is ideally positioned within the grounds of Shortland Waters golf course and just 15 minutes from the CBD. The array of resident amenities includes a health and wellness centre with access to visiting allied health professionals, a beauty salon, restaurant and bar, and a calendar of social events.
Find out more: Search for properties at Newcastle
Gold Coast – Queensland
This coastal city in South East Queensland is world-famous for its beaches, sunny subtropical climate, and stunning hinterland with World Heritage-listed rainforest. It has long been popular with downsizers from southern states seeking better weather and a plethora of choice for outdoor and cultural pursuits.
If a waterfront lifestyle floats your boat, The Henley on Broadwater offers luxury accommodation with an outlook across the Broadwater to the Coral Sea. Resident amenities are designed to foster active and socially-engaged living, and include an onsite bistro, theatre room, rooftop community gardens, gym with specialised HUR equipment, and a magnesium heated pool and spa.
Downsizers seeking a tranquil haven with modern, architect-designed facilities will find them at Lady Small Haven. This gated complex includes 65 spacious apartments with lift access. Onsite resort-style facilities include a café, outdoor pool, salon, and a rooftop terrace with views to the Surfer’s Paradise skyline.
Find out more: Search for properties on the Gold Coast
Adelaide – South Australia
Another top performer, Adelaide leaped to position 10 for the first two months of 2021 after not even ranking in the top 20 last year.
This may be related to South Australia’s strong performance during the peak of COVID-19, but is likely also linked to this beautiful city’s renewal efforts.
Long known for its architecture, Adelaide’s renaissance has seen it also become a hive for food, culture, festivals and entertainment. And don’t forget the world-famous wine regions nearby.
For people seeking a retirement property close to all Adelaide has to offer, Kingsborough Retirement Village is situated in a quiet area within walking distance of the central Norwood shopping area. The complex of 35 units includes two- and three-bedroom options with garden outlooks, built around a leafy courtyard.
Also only 15 minutes or so from Adelaide’s CBD, the Serviced Apartments at Aveo Kings Park offer downsizers modern comfortable living with a variety of support services. Community facilities include an onsite restaurant, activities room, indoor bowls, library, and a hair and beauty salon.
Find out more: Search for properties in Adelaide
Other relevant stories
- These homes are the perfect launchpad for your grey nomad adventures
- Having fun on the tools: how men's sheds are transforming life in retirement villages
- How you can retire into a fantastic waterfront location.…for under $500,000
- How to research your future downsizing neighbourhood
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