The increasing range of apartment complexes being developed within Auckland’s inner suburbs is providing baby boomers with a wider range of lifestyle options as they transition from full time work to retirement.
While, in the past, a change in lifestyle for those approaching retirement often meant moving out of the area now, remaining within an area in which they may have lived for many years is a realistic and attractive possibility.
Remaining within the area in which the family home has been located means that maintaining social ties within familiar surroundings is easier. It is far more convenient to retain membership within sports and social clubs with which people may have been associated for a number of years while they can also continue to enjoy visiting favourite, cafes, restaurants and bars.
The latest generation of inner suburb apartment developments are catering to the demands of the owner occupier market to a far greater extent than the CBD stock which was development in the early 2000’s, which was aimed, to a far greater extent, at the investor market.
While, in the latest round of apartment development there are schemes targeted at the investment sector developments which are designed to appeal to owner occupiers have formed a significant part of the development pool.
The more recent developments generally provide purchasers with higher quality design with facilities and amenities tailored to meet the requirements of owner occupiers. When looking to attract owner occupiers it is essential to provide people with space in which to live a view endorsed by Nigel McKenna of Development Advisory Services Limited, who has developed or provided consultancy advice on a wide range of project developments in Auckland and Queenstown. Mr McKenna points out that although purchasers may be looking to downsize from large family homes they do not wish to be living in confined spaces.
It is unsurprising therefore that some of the key requirements being sought by buyers looking to occupy apartments are, three bedroom layouts which allow for friends or family visits a study and easy access to hospitality amenity.
The move to apartment living also frees occupiers from the maintenance obligations which are associated with living in the family home. With retirement also providing much more time for travel the lock and leave convenience of apartments is also of great benefit to many. With some developments offering concierge services occupiers can be away from home for extended periods knowing that everything down to mail and delivery storage is being handled for them.
While not always the case, the sale of a large inner city family home and move into an apartment can often also free up equity. The surge in residential property values which has occurred across the Auckland region has seen the median house price within Auckland’s inner east and inner west suburbs reach approximately $1,690,000 according to sales statistics released by the Real Estate Institute to New Zealand (REINZ). Within the same suburbs the median apartment sales value is $762,500.
For some however, the freeing of equity is not the most important issue, it is the lifestyle which apartment living can provide that is the primary consideration, a tend which has been evident in Australia for some time.
Two examples of this growing trend are the Hereford Residences development in Kingsland and St Marks in Remuera.. Reports from real estate agents familiar with the projects advise that baby boomers comprise up to approximately 50% of sales within the complexes with this demographic being particularly active at the upper end of the value range. These two developments also illustrate the difference in facilities and amenities which various apartment developments offer.
The Hereford Residences offer resort style facilities which, the developers advise, have been crafted to deliver international sophistication and service; including north facing heated infinity pool and serene Zen gardens, fully equipped gymnasium and recreational deck, in-house library, theatre room, and snooker table. With a concierge available during business hours and 24 hour live-in building manager.
The property is located close to Ponsonby Road and is therefore just a short stroll to some of Auckland's best restaurants, cafes, bars, and boutique shopping.
At St Marks in Remuera the design incorporates two high quality food establishments, a café/restaurant for quality casual dining and a deli-style take out, operated by the renowned Hip Group. This will provide a high class and convenient addition to the more extensive offerings available within nearby Newmarket.
Sales trends over recent years have also shown that higher quality apartments can provide owners with capital value gain. As stated above the median sales value of an apartment within the inner east and west suburbs reached $762,500 in the December quarter of 2016 up from $470,000 recorded in December 2012 an increase of just over 62%. Added to the lifestyle benefits which living within high quality suburban apartments can provide it is clear as to why they are increasingly being viewed as a very attractive option for baby boomers as they transition into retirement.