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Retirement village living increasing in popularity

JLL releases fifth annual whitepaper on retirement villages



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GettyImages-503488763 small.jpgJLL has released its fifth annual whitepaper on the retirement village sector. 

The whitepaper comments on the JLL New Zealand Retirement Village Database, which was updated in November 2016. 

JLL Economist and Demographer Angela Webster leads the project and is the author of the whitepaper. 

“The results highlight New Zealand’s ageing population. The population in the 75-plus age bracket increased by 4.1 percent between June 2015 and June 2016,” she says. 

“More than a quarter of New Zealanders who are aged 75 and over live in Auckland. 

“If we look ahead to 2043, we expect the number of people in that bracket to grow by 164 percent nationwide, and by 205 percent in Auckland.

“This has huge implications for the retirement village industry. We estimate there will be enough demand in New Zealand for an additional 1,654 retirement village units a year, between 2016 and 2043,” Webster says. 

“Retirement village living is growing in popularity and the strength of the housing market is also affecting demand. We’re also seeing a decline in popularity in alternative living arrangements, such as ageing parents living with their children. 

“The industry is responding with 15,847 units in the development pipeline. Of these, 44 percent are in Auckland. Just under half will be built in villages that already exist, and just over half will be in new villages.”

JLL sees this as good news for the New Zealand economy. 

“International investors and first-time developers are showing an interest in the sector,” Webster says. “The industry is also having a positive effect on the housing market. An estimated 2,419 residents entered a retirement village in the year ending November 2016, meaning around 1,861 residential dwellings have been freed up for the general market.”

Webster notes that there have been advancements in village development techniques, location analysis and design ideas. 

“Developers are creating more resort-like villages, with modern layouts and features such as retail, medical and leisure facilities,” she says. “The industry is also attracting highly skilled professionals from a range of industries, including property development, architecture and consultancy.”  

John Collyns, Executive Director of the Retirement Village Association, says that retirement villages are now accepted as mainstream housing options for older people.

“JLL’s research shows that the sector is developing at a dramatic rate and it is gratifying to see that 36,618 older New Zealanders now call a retirement village ‘home’,” Collyns says.​