Australia has long been one of the world’s most pioneering countries when it comes to catering for the housing needs of our older generations. In fact, ten times more Australians live in purpose-built retirement communities than those of their UK cousins.
The number of retirement developments in the UK is slowly on the rise but, it turns out, that there is a new style of retirement village taking off in Australia that could completely change the way we think about housing for the over-55’s here in Britain.
Image above: Aveo’s Bella Vista vertical retirement village in Sydney
Instead of expanding out, our Antipodean friends are going up; and the demand for hi-rise retirement living is currently sky-high.
The Australian vertical retirement village is basically a medium-rise, multi-story retirement village, offering multiple apartment living options for retirees along with all the amenities that most retirement villages offer.
Several Australian companies have already ventured into vertical retirement villages, including Aveo, Stockland and LendLease with numerous projects around the country.
So what’s driving the demand for vertical retirement villages?
Mary Wood executive director of the Property Council of Australia’s Retirement Living Council told the Australian Financial Review the vertical retirement project trend was following the demand in the broader market for multi-storey living.
“Older Australians are much more used to apartment living than previous generations, as is the general community,” she said.
“This explains why a lot of the innovation in retirement living is in urban, high-density areas.”
Aveo CEO Geoff Grady said Australia was at “the cutting edge” of retirement living and care around the world.
“Creating vertical retirement communities is the logical solution by offering retirees a modern, low-maintenance lifestyle and with care and service offerings available in the one location as and when they need it,” he said.
And perhaps this could be one major reason why this new style of retirement living could be a big hit in the UK. With land prices currently at an all-time high, mainly due the lack of availability, building upwards could quickly fill the void in the number of retirement homes now needed in the UK.
According to Russell Baldwin, MD of Silverbridge Properties;
“We know that retirees are often looking to remain in the same locale but many, currently living in London and the South East, will probably have to move some distance to find their dream retirement home. By providing retirees with quality apartment living, close to where they currently reside, will allow more people to continue to enjoy the lifestyle they love with the added confidence of being able to age in the place they know best.”