With an aging population in some of our local suburbs, we are finding that the number of people looking to “Downsize” is increasing.
In fact this is a trend that has helped push Brisbane’s property market to new heights. An increasing demand for luxury property in the recovering Brisbane market has seen the river city take out 19th place on Knight Frank’s 2018 Prime Global Cities Index.
Demand for high-end property in Brisbane led to a 3.6 per cent price growth over the past year.
Researchers from Knight Frank attributed Brisbane’s new ranking to a growing demand of downsizers looking to buy a home in a good location.
The most popular suburbs include New Farm, Newstead, Teneriffe, Kangaroo Point, South Brisbane, St Lucia, Paddington and the Brisbane CBD. These areas offer a desirable lifestyle with an abundance of shopping, dining and entertaining precincts at their doorstep.
Smaller, boutique complexes in select suburbs are often preferred, with an elevated outlook offering privacy and river views being the most highly prized.
A couple of recent examples of this style of development have been seen in Everton Park and McDowall as well.
As the quality of apartments in Australia continues to improve with developers focusing on style, design and in-house facilities and services, I expect this to be a trend that we will see continue moving forward.
Downsizers are increasingly looking to buy easy to maintain apartments in prime locations. This also applies to renovated smaller homes on smaller blocks in Brisbane’s northern suburbs.
“What we’re seeing at the moment is people who are looking to downsize are generally going from bigger homes into apartments or smaller houses, so they want something that is going to be easy for them to maintain, that is also in a great location,”
So, what is it that downsizers are looking for in their new dream homes?
As most downsizers are used to a large home, it is likely that they have accumulated a lot of possession over the years. Storage then is a vital requirement in a downsizers property. Subsequently, butler’s pantries and extra storage cages or sheds are often a fixture of luxury apartments and townhouses aimed at Brisbane’s downsizer market.
Empty nesters might be looking for smaller residences, but they still want generous bedrooms and living areas. It’s a condensing of what they had before and also a reduction of that maintenance space.
So, they don’t want the backyard anymore but they want enough room in the lounge room to entertain friends and a big enough dining area to have the family over for Sunday night dinners.
Finishes and fittings
High-quality materials also appeal to these buyers, says Hutton, listing stone benchtops, custom joinery and top-of-the-range appliances as things they’re looking for in a home.
“This is the time of their life – the kids are grown up, and they want to enjoy this next stage of their life really comfortably,” he says. “Finishes and fixtures of a property can help them do that.”
Location and views are of great importance, too, says Allamby, and while a downsizer’s new residence doesn’t have to be in the city, it shouldn’t be far from it.
We find that Downsizers are after a lifestyle where they can walk to shops and restaurants, so they want to be based in a village preceint. They are comfortable not having to drive their car anymore, and public transport needs to be accessible as well.
The neighbours are also seen as important. Downsizers prefer to locate around other owner occupiers, who may be in a similar stage of their lives (no late night loud parties here). This means that smaller apartment complexes or stand alone homes are a feature.
Rounding out the checklist, an ideal downsizer home is low maintenance, which is why many buyers opt for an apartment or townhouse instead of a freestanding property. These tend to have courtyards and balconies instead of backyards that need constant gardening.
They also work well with a lock-up-and-leave lifestyle, making them advantageous for retirees who like to travel.
Also read this important article about the new Rules that allow some downsizers to contribute to their Super.