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Retirement Villages : Best Practice Planning. A Developers’ Perspective Peter Inge August 2008. Retirement Living in Australia. Retirement living industry has evolved considerably since the 1960’s when church and charitable groups first introduced housing for the elderly

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Retirement Villages : Best Practice Planning

A Developers’ Perspective

Peter Inge

August 2008


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Retirement Living in Australia

Retirement living industry has evolved considerably since the 1960’s when church and charitable groups first introduced housing for the elderly

  • Private groups have since entered the industry and employ a resident funded model

  • The resident funded model provides a lifestyle option for independent people, with community facilities, on site management, maintenance and security


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Retirement Living in Australia

A Retirement Community is:

A Retirement Community is not:

  • A neighbourhood for over 55/60’s

  • Similar minded people

  • Community like facilities

  • Community and companionship

  • Low maintenance

  • Independence and privacy

  • A supported residential service

  • An aged care facility

  • An “old people’s home”

  • A special accommodation home

  • A hostel


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Retirement Model in Australia

  • Available to residents aged over 55 years

  • Resident pays for retirement unit (purchase price / lease premium / loan)

  • Resident resides in unit and has non exclusive rights to community facilities

  • Resident pays a weekly service fee

  • On departure, resident pays a deferred management fee / exit fee / departure fee (“DMF”)

  • DMF based on length of stay, usually a fixed % each year applied to the resale price of the unit


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The Emergence of the Medium Rise RV

  • Traditional

    • Broad acre

    • Typical site c 5 to 8 ha

      • 125 to 200 villa units

      • Community Centre

      • Garden areas and open space

      • Can certainly be bigger but not too much smaller

    • Well located

      • Public transport

      • Shops

    • Sense of neighbourhood

  • Medium Rise

    • Infill sites

      • c4000m2 to 20000m2

      • Minimum c60 apartments

      • At least 2 b/r

        • Query “diversity of housing” if no one wants to live there

      • Cater for the target market

      • Costly to develop

      • Generous community facilities

    • Well located

      • Absolutely critical


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All developers are not the same!

  • “Normal” Developer

    • Maximise financial return

    • Maximise yield

    • No post completion interest

      • On to the next one

      • Misalignment of interest with end user

  • RV Developer

    • “Long tail” asset

      • Greater returns in management

      • “Skinnier” development margins

    • Delicate balance between yield and amenity

      • Maximising amenity means greater price growth

      • Greater price growth means greater revenue

    • Clear alignment of interest

      • RV needs to look great not just now but forever


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RV Planning issues

  • Some Myths and Misconceptions

    • Grey ghetto’s

      • Solution? Forced community integration

        • Compromising security

        • Boundary fencing is important

  • Traffic/Car’s

    • Always less than you think and decreasing over time

    • Solution? Access to public and private transport

      • Village bus service

  • Burden on Local Government infrastructure

    • Majority of residents are locals

    • More efficient service delivery


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    The Future - Shifting the Burden

    • Resident funded RV’s reduce community responsibilities and should be encouraged

      • Less usage of HACC, CACP’s funded aged care

      • People prefer to be independent

  • Planning protections/restrictions need to assist controlled RV development

    • Example NSW SEPP (Seniors Living)2004

      • Site Compatibility Certificates

  • Use of covenants in Government land sales

    • Example Vaucluse High School

      • Positive – must be seniors living

      • Negative – Can’t be school


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