Recent Home Living Property Culture The Team North Shore Living
Recent Home Living Property Culture The Team North Shore Living

Downsizing: Boomers set to move out of Sydney in droves

Written by Matthew Bourn
In Sydney, Baby Boomers are rising in proportion, raising the question of whether they will choose to age in place or downsize. Their choice to do either will greatly impact the housing market for younger residents looking to buy their first home.

Real estate on the Upper North Shore is especially impacted, as Baby Boomers are downsizing. Boomers are looking for property for sale in residences that cater for the over 55s, houses for sale in retirement villages, and independent living units for rent.

Whether ageing in place or downsizing, Boomers are influenced by several factors;

1. COVID-19 pandemic

The Coronavirus pandemic is playing a huge role in Boomers’ decision on where to downsize. Sydney city and its suburbs were considered a hot spot for coronavirus cases, recording some of the highest numbers of New South Wales COVID-19 cases since March 2020.

2. Access to healthcare facilities

Regions with easy access to reputable healthcare facilities outside of Sydney are becoming more attractive to seniors seeking to downsize or make a sea or tree change.

3. Technology capabilities
Boomers are a pretty tech-savvy generation, at ease with the tools and technology designed to help them stay in touch with friends and family from anywhere. The ability to make a digital connection influences where Boomers choose to spend their retirement years.

Now is the time to make a move

Boomers weighing the benefits of downsizing should note that now is an excellent time to take the leap. A recent survey of seniors revealed they are more likely to consider downsizing now than they were pre-pandemic.

COVID-19 impacted the economy in many ways, but it certainly hasn't negatively influenced the housing market. Home prices in and around Sydney dropped only slightly by 0.4 per cent, which is amazing considering the severity and reach of the economic restrictions.

One of the biggest reasons the housing market has not gone into free fall is that available stock is in low supply, helping homes to maintain their value and fetch higher prices on the market. Boomers who need to sell their existing home before downsizing should have no difficulty doing so while making a tidy profit.

Seniors seeking new homes in and around Sydney should consider retirement villages with houses or units for rent outside of Sydney. There are several perks to being part of a retirement village:

Shared interests with other community residents.
Access to facilities, activities, and events that foster well-being and connection with other people in the same age group.
Maintenance of property is handled by staff, freeing up seniors to enjoy retirement.

Sea changers

A new trend among Boomers is embracing a “sea change” by downsizing to the NSW Central Coast and trading in a lifestyle of work for one of play. It allows the freedom for seniors to design their own retirement, free from norms and expectations associated with other options.

Tree changers

Some retirees like to ease into the process, telecommuting to a part-time job or continuing to work in a creative profession that allows for more freedom. Known as “tree changers,” they account for more than half of those over the age of 44. Among the most popular “tree change” locations are Bowral, Berry, and Glenn Innes for their climate, affordability, country living, and ease of access to businesses and jobs.

Government grants for downsizers

If the favourable market rates are not motivation enough, the Australian Government is offering $25,000 housing grants perfect for Boomers. Grant money can be used to purchase property in newly constructed retirement villages, villas, and townhouses or to substantially renovate an existing property.

There are several new retirement communities currently under development with RetireAustralia , with locations in Lane Cover, Erina, and Forresters Beach.

Carpe diem

As the saying goes, “Seize the day!” Boomers may not find a better time to downsize than now. With low market supply driving up prices, downsizing now is a great way to unlock equity for retirement when selling an existing family home.

Boomers who need help downsizing are encouraged to reach out to the dedicated team at McConnell Bourn for guidance.

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