Aged Care

Retirement living construction on the rise in Australia


The retirement living industry in Australia is gearing up for significant growth in construction, according to the latest Procore/Property Council Survey.

Confidence in retirement construction activity is soaring, surpassing other sectors like residential, office, retail and hotels combined.

Retirement Living Council Executive Director Daniel Gannon sees this uptrend as an opportunity for the Australian government to address the housing shortage. He emphasises the need to include retirement communities in the National Housing Accord target to build 1.2 million new homes by 2029.

Gannon points out that while the Master Builders Association predicts a shortfall in meeting the housing target, the retirement living industry could bridge a significant portion of this gap.

“With the number of Australians over the age of 75 set to increase from two million to 3.4 million by 2040, more age-friendly housing that keeps people out of hospital and aged care facilities must be supported by all levels of government,” Gannon said.

Despite the positive outlook, Gannon acknowledges the potential challenges. Rising construction prices, material costs and labour shortages remain concerns across the property sector.

“The other variable for the retirement living sector is legislative reform, which is taking place in every corner of the country and impacting two thirds of Australia’s retirement living markets. This is particularly relevant in WA, one of the states currently undergoing legislative reform, with the survey showing a sharp decline in forecast capital value growth.”

Gannon emphasises that these reforms need to support the construction and operation of age-friendly communities. If regulatory changes hinder operators’ ability to build and manage such communities, it could worsen the housing supply situation.

He urges governments to recognise the significant role retirement villages play in alleviating pressure on aged care facilities and saving taxpayers money. “Governments need to better understand that retirement villages across the country save the federal government almost a billion dollars every year as Australia’s population continues to age.”

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Ritchelle is a Content Producer for Healthcare Channel, Australia’s premier resource of information for healthcare.

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