Once a niche retirement living option, land lease communities are rapidly becoming a mainstream over 50s housing model delivering relatively affordable housing in lifestyle-rich areas.

For people looking at moving into a new home in a greenfield land lease community, we’d done some of the hard work and explained what’s on offer across NSW, Victoria and Queensland.

About land lease communities

Also known as residential parks, manufactured home estates and lifestyle communities, land lease communities are based on a unique hybrid ownership and rental model.

Under this model, an incoming resident buys a dwelling but rents the land under the dwelling via a long-term agreement with the community operator. 

There’s no stamp duty, council rates, strata levies or entry and exit fees (in most cases), while the weekly site fee has the potential to be offset through government rental subsidies.

Land lease community residents have access to a range of communal facilities, usually starting with a pool and clubhouse but potentially also including exotic options such as ten pin bowling alleys, cinemas and even boats, electric cars and dog washes.

Recently, COVID and property market conditions have further fuelled the growth of Australian land lease communities - particularly in outer suburban and regional areas.

Booming capital city housing prices, a new appreciation of regional living, a wider acceptance of remote working and a desire for strong local community ties are all adding to the attraction of this type of housing for downsizers.

Below is our list as to what’s on offer at new land lease communities.

Queensland

Ingenia Lifestyle Hervey Bay 

Ingenia Lifestyle Hervey Bay is an over-50s community in Urangan on Queensland’s stunning Fraser Coast where the mild year-round climate and access to natural attractions such as heritage-listed Fraser Island and humpback whale watching have long been a lifestyle magnet.

There is a selection of one, two and three-bedroom homes to suit different budgets and lifestyles, each with light-filled open-plan interiors and alfresco entertainment areas designed to maximise the flow of indoor/outdoor living. 

Street scene at Ingenia Hervey Bay

“Ingenia Lifestyle Hervey Bay is currently selling in Stage 15, with homes ranging in price from $239,000 up to $392,000,” an Ingenia spokeswoman said.

“There has been significant demand for the offering from both the local market and increasingly interstate. 

“Due to demand, Ingenia Lifestyle has fast-tracked development stages and is on track to deliver 38 additional homes above the original forecast for financial year 2020-21, with a strong waiting list of customers for future stage releases.”

Ingenia Lifestyle Hervey Bay’s centrepiece will be the Eagle’s Nest Clubhouse, which is currently under construction and will serve as a community hub around the property’s natural watercourse. 

Outdoor area of a home at Ingenia Hervey Bay

It will contain a lap pool and spa, alfresco BBQ areas, library and craft room, bowling green, fully equipped gym and fitness room, community bus, media room, sports bar and outdoor entertainment area.

What’s something different about this community? 

The Eagle’s Nest Clubhouse gets its name from a former eagle’s nest that has been preserved within the site.

Freshwater by Ingenia Lifestyle

Freshwater by Ingenia Lifestyle is located north of Brisbane in Burpengary East, with easy access to Queensland’s Moreton Bay region. It offers the best of the coast and city in one package.

An active community with a focus on fun and friendship, it has a recently completed gold-class clubhouse and a range of other amenities like a magnesium pool and spa, gym, sports lounge, craft room, library, cinema, veggie garden and lawn bowling green.

The Freshwater clubhouse

An Ingenia spokeswoman said all homes that have been released as part of stage six at Freshwater by Ingenia Lifestyle are currently under offer. 

However, stage seven homes will be available for offer shortly, ranging in price from $382,000 up to $439,000. 

Streetscape at Ingenia's Freshwater community

What’s something different about this community? 

It is surrounded by a peaceful rural setting, whilst still close to inner-city living. 

Orianna Sandstone Point

Orianna Sandstone Point is a Hometown Australia community in Queensland’s Moreton Bay area. It offers a range of beautifully designed two and three-bedroom homes and has built a reputation as the perfect lifestyle choice for active and healthy over-50s, whether they continue to work or are in retirement. 

The third of five Orianna stages is currently in development, with new homes ranging in price from $455,000 to $490,000. When fully complete in around two years, Orianna will contain 113 home sites.

Residents Fiona and Rick Lodge with their dog Willow at Hometown's Orianna community at Sandstone Point

Natural beauty abounds here and watersports, hiking and golf are among the activities on offer. You can also visit one of a number of local beaches, or pack a picnic and take a day trip to Bribie Island National Park. There’s easy access to supermarkets, restaurants, clubs and medical facilities.

Outdoor pool at Hometown Australia's Orianna community

What’s something different about this community?  

A unique feature of this community is an exclusive residents’ boat for recreational use in nearby Moreton Bay. Other amenities include a clubhouse with cinema, library and gym, heated outdoor pool, bowling green and shared garden.

FIND OUT MORE: Read a case study what it's like to live at Orianna

New South Wales

Monterey at Camden Haven

Monterey at Camden Haven is an over-55s community being developed by Allam Homes in Kendall on NSW’s mid-north coast, 30km from the major regional hub of Port Macquarie. A total of 198 approved sites will be offered.

The area is known for its unspoilt beaches, fishing and boating friendly coastline. National parks, bushwalks and picnic areas are all within a short drive away.

Artist's impression of the interior of a future home at Monterey

The first homes available at Monterey includes two-bedroom and bathroom homes with a focus on open-plan living, each with modern fixtures and fittings and a large covered alfresco area for special occasions or quiet relaxation. 

Prices range from $440,000 to $495,000.

Photomontage of future streetscape at Monterey 

“There will be temporary community facilities in place which are scheduled to be completed at the end of 2021,” an Allam homes spokeswoman said. 

“The final community facilities consisting of the clubhouse, pool, bowling green and tennis court are scheduled for completion at the end of 2022.”

What’s something different about this community?  

Allam Homes is a well-established provider of ‘home and land’ packages in new estates - this is its first land lease offering. 

“When Allam bought the property, the development application was already submitted for a land lease community. Allam has been curious about land lease and saw this as an opportunity to try something new,” an Allam spokeswoman said.

Plantations by Ingenia Lifestyle

Plantations by Ingenia Lifestyle is a land lease community in Woolgoolga on NSW’s mid-north coast, 25km north of Coffs Harbour. It offers a range of low maintenance homes with natural light-filled interiors, gourmet kitchens and designer fixtures, each with a seamless indoor-outdoor flow to alfresco entertainment and relaxation areas.

Set on 19.5 hectares of beautifully landscaped gardens, Plantations was designed for residents to have everything they’d find in a five-star resort right at their fingertips. 

Interior of the Ingenia Lifestyle Plantations clubhouse
Interior of the Plantations clubhouse

State-of-the-art facilities include a workshed and caravan/boat storage, along with a clubhouse containing a wellness centre, heated pool, spa, over 55s gymnasium, premium grade bowling green, cinema and alfresco BBQ area.

The final stages of this 192 site development are now selling with homes ranging in price from $499,000 to $635,000.

The Burgundy home design at Plantations

There’s a genuine focus on fun and friendship with regular activities and social events like yoga, tai chi, gardening, karaoke, trivia and movie nights, and weekly Happy Hour Mix and Mingle evenings.

What’s something different about this community?  

The community features its own fire pit to encourage outdoor mingling and the community clubhouse features raked exposed beams. 

Sunrise Port Stephens

Sunrise Port Stephens is operated by Hometown Australia and offers over 50s resort-style living set between the ocean and countryside in popular Port Stephens. 

This region has the benefit of being only a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Sydney.

Homes are stylish and offer the flexibility of having one or more bedrooms that can be used for guests or as a study/home office. You have the option to customise your home design with a choice of facades, colours and finishes. 

Tennis courts at Sunrise

Homes in the third of four stages are currently selling with prices ranging from $515,000 to $600,000. On completion, the community will have a total of 193 homes.

Outdoor pool at Sunrise

A “boutique” community in terms of its size, Sunrise has an impressive range of amenities including a clubhouse, community area, pool, bowling green, tennis court, library and boat storage.

What’s something different about this community?

Homes are set back from the street, creating a pleasing streetscape and sense of space.

Find out more: How moving into a land lease commnunity can help you retire early

Victoria

Lifestyle St Leonards

Located in the quaint beachside town of St Leonards on Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula, Lifestyle St Leonards provides a tranquil haven for working, semi-retired and retired over-50s in a secure, gated complex with clubhouse/recreation area, swimming pool and bowling green. 

Proposed clubhouse at Lifestyle St Leonards

The community is currently under development with Stage 1 homes now selling for between $305,270 to $576,000.

Choose from a range of one bedroom plus study, two-bedroom and three-bedroom homes carefully designed to maximise space and liveability. There is a range of facades and fittings to choose from.

Lifestyle St Leonards is located on the beautiful Bellarine Peninsula

The community is close to the beach and town centre and a bus is available to take residents to nearby shops, medical centres and sporting facilities.

What’s something different about this community?

It has a communal fishing boat….and electric car.

Lifestyle Wollert

Just 25km north of Melbourne’s CBD, at Lifestyle Wollert you can enjoy the beautiful natural setting and still be close to restaurants, cafes and major shopping centres.

Choose from a range of homes featuring contemporary design, quality fixtures and fittings and a balance of indoor and outdoor spaces, which are selling for between $411,000 and $579,000.

Lifestyle Wollert has a clubhouse and five-star resort facilities for year-round enjoyment. Residents can work out in the privacy of their own gym, swim in the indoor heated pool, join in community games like barefoot bowls and Pickleball, or enjoy an afternoon tea alfresco. There’s also a cinema room, billiards, library and workshop.

What’s something different about this community?

Like a number of other new Lifestyle Communities projects, Lifestyle Wollert has a communal dog wash so you don’t need to throw Rover in the laundry tub.

Lifestyle Kaduna Park

Lifestyle Kaduna Park is located south-east of Melbourne just minutes from the suburb of Officer where you can enjoy the lifestyle at local cafes and markets, as well as the nearby Heritage Springs, Arena and Westfield Fountain Gate shopping centres.

The community offers residents a range of spacious and modern two and three-bedroom homes within a secure, gated complex with a clubhouse/recreation centre and bowling green for residents. An impressive range of fixtures is available, with the ability to customise with upgrades and colours.

Homes are now selling with prices from between $461,000 and $559,000.

Facilities include beautiful green spaces, a heated indoor pool and spa, state-of-the-art gym, private 30-seat cinema, library and social lounge. 

What’s something different about this community?

Kaduna Park has its very own dog park, where Rover and Rover’s boss can hang out with other applicable human-dog connections.

Comment from our CEO

Downsizing.com.au CEO Amanda Graham has said: “These properties demonstrate both the exceptional value for money and outstanding lifestyle that land lease living can provide. Operators understand what their residents want, and are meeting the needs and expectations of the modern downsizer.”

“There is clearly an impressive range of on-site community facilities now being included in land lease communities across Australia.”

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