Australian Baby Boomers' top housing desires include space, security, minimal maintenance; many Baby Boomers do not want to drastically downsize their living space, say industry players

September 20, 2013 () – Armed with long checklists of requirements, empty-nesters are choosing three-bedroom apartments in lifestyle locations, writes Home editor Paula Shearer LIFESTYLE options, space and security – all with minimum maintenance – top the list of wants for Baby Boomers who are now actively downsizing from their family homes.

Developers are catering for the generation, aged between 48 and 67, with three-bedroom apartments, often located in precincts with shops, restaurants and easy access to transport.

Brookfield Residential Developments has sold 80 per cent of its three-bedroom apartments in the Pinnacle building at Portside Wharf to Boomers.

The luxury apartment project on the river at Hamilton is set for construction later this year after chalking up more than $46 million in apartment and penthouse sales since its release in April.

Three-bedroom apartments in Pinnacle’s first stage have sold out, forcing Brookfield to release the final three-bed stock ahead of schedule.

Project director Lee Butterworth said Baby Boomer buyers were looking for maximum space with minimum maintenance.

“Although they are now empty-nesters, these buyers are trending towards large, three-bedroom apartments with quality fittings and finishes, spacious balconies, plenty of storage and extras such as two carparks and security,” he said.

“A large portion of these buyers no longer want the maintenance of their existing homes but aren’t ready to drastically downsize their living space, making the 139sq m three-bedroom apartments in Pinnacle the perfect compromise.

“For those making the shift from house to apartment, the apartments make it an easy transition with huge balconies up to 20sq m, open-plan living and floor-to-ceiling windows that showcase the stunning river and city views.

“Now that the children have moved out, these Baby Boomers have time to enjoy some of the finer things in life so location is key as they look for proximity to entertainment and dining.

“Transport and amenity also play a significant part, and building facilities such as pools, gyms and entertainment areas are a determining factor.” Pinnacle is located on the doorstep of the mixed-use Portside Wharf community with its shops, cinema, fitness centre and restaurants. Three-bedroom apartments start from $1.2 million.

Developer Mirvac is also seeing success with the Baby Boomer market, attracting the generation to its first two residential buildings at Waterfront Newstead.

Residential CEO John Carfi said the projects had predominantly attracted locals. Buyers fromTeneriffe, New Farm, Hamilton and Ascot accounted for more than 60 per cent of sales in the luxury first stage of Pier and 50 per cent in the second-stage Park building.

“Of these buyers, the majority are Baby Boomers wanting to downsize from a large family home, and they see there is limited opportunity to purchase in absolute riverfront developments,” he said.

“They want to move to a precinct that will offer an enhanced lifestyle with a lower maintenance property and a range of lifestyle amenities at the doorstep, while still being in a private and secure location.

“Amenity is also high on their list of priorities with many drawn to the convenience of the newly revitalised Newstead Riverpark precinct with the neighbouring Gasworks Plaza development now open.” At Australand’s $500 million Hamilton Reach project it’s a similar story. The group has notched up more than $120 mil-lion in sales with the precinct proving popular with empty-nesters seeking a luxury, inner-city riverside address.

The Watermarque and Watermarque on the Park buildings have each achieved robust sales, bringing them to 89 per cent and 72 per cent sold.

Australand Queensland residential division general manager Cameron Leggatt said empty-nesters could downsize without sacrificing privacy or a premium location.A Place Advisory report on the inner-Brisbane apartment market revealed that downsizers were beginning to influence off-the-plan sales for the first time since the GFC.
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