Over 55s Urged to Take Advantage of Home Price Rise

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As median house prices continue to rise across the country, now is an opportune time for many asset-rich, cash-poor seniors to downsize their large homes, boost their cash reserve and improve their lifestyle.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ latest residential property price index revealed median house prices rose across most capital cities in the 12 months to June 2017, with the highest growth in Melbourne and Sydney (13.8 per cent),  and Brisbane’s property prices increasing by three per cent[1].

Author, seniors finance expert and government advisor Rachel Lane said senior homeowners could boost their cash reserves by downsizing their home, selling while prices are high and moving into more affordable accommodation.

“Lifestyle-focused land lease communities, for example, are one of the newest types of affordable housing catering to the over 50s market.

“While the homes on offer are of an increasingly high quality, the entry price point is kept low since residents lease, rather than own the land, with low weekly fees. This pricing model eliminates the need to pay stamp duty, entry and exit fees and in some cases, the resident is then eligible for rent assistance.

In Queensland’s Logan City, the house prices in areas like Chambers Flat ($565,000[2]) are more than double (59 %) the $229,000 starting point for the nearby Ingenia Lifestyle Chambers Pines community.

“I would urge seniors to pay close attention to median house prices in their area and affordable housing price points like these to get a better sense of the type of cash reserves they might be able to access.”

“While housing affordability is generally considered a young person’s issue restricting entry to the market, it is also a major problem for those that do own a home but rely on a low weekly income,” Ms Lane said.

Ingenia Lifestyle Chambers Pines Project Sales Manager Lynda Ruddell said the unique land lease model was attracting more attention due to the flexible benefits that allow downsizers to pursue a financially stable lifestyle based on independence, health and wellbeing.

“The innovative design of the new homes allows buyers to reap the financial benefits of the land lease model, meaning residents retain their eligibility for government rental assistance on the weekly site fees,” Ms Ruddell said.

In Victoria, for the 12 months from March 2016 to March 2017, the overall medium house price in Victoria rose to $526,000[3], while in Lara, the medium house price is listed at $435,000[4], allowing some homeowners the opportunity to boost their cash reserves by tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars by selling while prices are high and moving into more affordable accommodation.

Ingenia Lifestyle Lara Regional Sales Manager, Zoe Ilich-Paul, said lifestyle-focused land lease communities are an innovative senior’s home ownership model where the entry price point is kept low since residents lease, rather than own, the land.

“Land lease communities also eliminate the need for residents to pay stamp duty, there are no exit fees and in some cases, residents are eligible for rent assistance on the weekly site fees.

“Our home designs are of an increasingly high quality while providing residents with more capital to fund their senior years,” Zoe said.

Ingenia Lifestyle Lara has a range of home designs starting from $219,000 for a one bedroom floor plan with open plan living and dining and a number of surprise features including covered decking, front landscaping, European stainless steel kitchen appliances and split system air conditioning.

 

 

[1] http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/mf/6416.0

[2] Residex Suburb Report – Chambers Flat 4133 QLD http://www.residex.com.au/free-report

[3]  https://www.propertyandlandtitles.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0030/63399/Victorian-Property-Sales-Report.pdf

[4] https://reiv.com.au/market-insights/suburb/lara