_Retirement Living Outlook

A Property Council of Australia breakfast on Retirement Living was held this week as part its ‘Outlook’ series.

The event started with a presentation from media personality Red Symons which helped the crowd get going with the early start.

David Frost from Cottee Parker Architects was then presented on an integrated Aged Care and Retirement Living project in Paddington, Sydney.  The project, known as the ‘terraces’, under construction and comprises vertical living surrounded by large communal areas of open space.  David mentioned that the vertical living aspect of the project was key to ensuring expansive areas of open space could be delivered in the inner suburb of Paddington and integrating these uses allows couples to age together in place.

The remainder of the event focused on the ‘outlook’ for the industry over the next ten years and included a discussion with a panel of experts.

The consensus generally from the panel was that in addition to strong population growth, retirees are healthier, living longer and are placing more of a premium on quality design and choice all of which has led to growth in the segment.

An improvement in quality design and choice for Retirement Living has transpired in some of the projects Collie has been involved on recently with architecturally designed accommodation and ‘hotel-like facilities’, cinemas, libraries, tennis courts, indoor swimming pools and gyms, often featuring in these projects.

It was agreed also by the panel that we can expect to see more integrated Aged Care and Retirement Living developments including in a vertical living form particularly, in the inner suburbs.  In Victoria, the inclusion in October 2018 of a ‘Residential Aged Care Facility’ policy under clause 53.17 of the Victorian Planning Schemes will encourage vertical living by allowing development up to five storeys in height (and in some cases higher) for Aged Care facilities in residential areas.  Given the strong link that is expected to continue between Aged Care and Retirement Living, it would be logical that clause 53.17 be amended to include also siting and design requirements for Retirement Living.

With the housing market having slowed, it is pleasing to hear that the forecast for Retirement Living remains positive.