It will come as no surprise to most of us to learn that Australia has a rapidly ageing population – a trend that is occurring largely due to longer life expectancies, together with a declining birth rate.
ABS data shows that while the proportion of the population aged 15-64 remained fairly static from 1994 to 2014, during the same period the over-65s increased by almost 3% (from 11.8% to 14.7%) and the proportion of 0-14 year olds fell by almost the same value. At the same time the proportion of 85 year olds almost doubled, while that of centenarians increased more than twice over!
This trend is expected to continue into the foreseeable future, especially as people are living longer and fewer babies are being born.
Consequences of an ageing population
Our ageing population is likely to have serious implications for services, employment and accommodation. With regard to the latter, some industry analysts assert that the current supply of retirement-living housing is not keeping pace with demand, and as the population continues to age the need for retirement properties will accelerate.
In addition, recent research cited by the Retirement Living Council indicates that many Australian seniors are feeling the pressure to move out of inner city areas and more towards outer suburban regions where retirement accommodation (such as independent living units or serviced apartments) tends to be located. This can often result in isolation from family members, friends and support services. It can also lead to many older people choosing instead to remain in their homes, which in many cases are no longer age-appropriate for them.
As a result, some in the industry are pushing for retirement villages to be included in future city planning in order to enable more retirees to remain within their communities while receiving the accommodation and assistance they need.
Opportunities for commercial property investment
For investors interested in capitalising on these population and accommodation trends, now might be the time to act. Data indicates that the proportion of over-65s in the population will be close to 20% by 2032 and 25% by 2056, and it’s likely that the growing number of retirees will lead to a doubling of the number of Australians seeking retirement accommodation over the next decade.
Retirement accommodation in Australia generally consists of independent living units or serviced apartments with access to communal facilities and a varying degree of support services, as well as community housing and nursing homes.
At Burgess Rawson our property consultants can assist you in finding retirement real estate investment and also in property management services for your investment property. Feel free to give our team a call if you would like more information on our property services.
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