Retirement living developers are boosting their size of apartments, as cashed-up downsizers seek out more space to entertain friends and family and work from home.
National retirement living operator Living Choice told Downsizing.com.au it was originally proposing 210 apartments across six, six-storey buildings as part of its new $160 million development at Parkwood on the Gold Coast in Queensland.
It has now applied to reduce the number of apartments to 200, so that the average apartment size can increase.
The second stage of the project will now include an apartment type with 217 square metres of living area and 86 square metres worth of balcony space, along with two carparking spots.
“However, not everyone will want such a big apartment so there is a wide choice of sizes, from one bedroom to four bedrooms,” a Living Choice spokeswoman said.
The spokeswoman said that it is younger retirees that are looking for more space, including for visiting grandchildren, to entertain friends and work part-time from home.
At our Sunshine Coast villages, the bigger resale homes and apartments are snapped up immediately,” the spokeswoman said.
“The current strong property market (also) certainly helps with cashed-up buyers showing strong interest, especially in Queensland.”
Queensland-based retirement village operator Aura Holdings has also increased its apartment sizes in response to demand from retirees.
Aura fast-tracked stage five of its Kingsford Terrace Corinda community in Brisbane’s southwest due to the demand for oversized apartments in its stage four, Francis building.
Apartments in the stage five Lingrove building were amalgamated to create floorplans with a total 265sq m of living space. Construction is due to begin this month on both stages four and five at Kingsford Terrace.
Aura’s much-anticipated The Ninth Middle Ridge, to be built within the Toowoomba Golf Club, is about to begin construction.
Interest has been highest in the spacious penthouses leading to a decision to create a further six penthouses from 12 apartments. Aura is also working with early buyers by amalgamating floorplans to create larger apartments.
“Today’s retirees will not compromise on their standard of living so we are providing a range of apartments in the sizes they have told us they want," said Aura Holdings director Mark Taylor.
Premium apartments sized over 200sq m in Aura’s Sunshine Coast village, The Avenue Maroochydore, and those sized over 210sq m in stage two of its Gold Coast community, The Pavilion North Kirra, were all quickly snapped up.
At the Rose by Moran project in Sydney’s north, one couple who bought off-the-plan decided to combine two two-bedroom apartments into one three-bedroom apartment.
According to research published by independent global property consultancy Knight Frank in mid-June, consumers are increasingly seeking larger apartments.
It said this could mean downsizers wanting larger apartments in general apartment projects could now find increased competition from other buyers.
“The demands of apartment buyers are evolving,” said Knight Frank’s Head of Residential Research, Michelle Ciesielski.
We already knew downsizers are most attracted to a three-bedroom configured apartment, but with the pandemic, there will be increased competition from other cohorts securing this third bedroom for the home office and potentially second living room, when required.”
A white paper published by Downsizing.com.au in November 2020 found that downsizers were likely to want increased personal space as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The paper reported that 54 per cent of Downsizing.com.au readers regarded two or more bedrooms as essential, up from 48 per cent in a survey undertaken before COVID-19. This trend now appears to have eventuated.
Comment from our CEO
Downsizing.com.au CEO Amanda Graham said “We know this new generation of downsizers have very different tastes and aspirations from that of their parent’s generation.”
They are not prepared to compromise on space and lifestyle, and it is great to see developers responding to market demand to meet the needs of these cashed up buyers.
“These are the best qualified buyers in the market, and fuelled by booming home prices they are now cashing in the home equity they’ve accrued over a lifetime of working.”