The top 10 suburbs to retire and build equity: RiskWise's Doron Peleg

Staff reporterNovember 27, 20190 min read


When it comes to their golden years, there are three essential factors retirees should take into account when choosing property.

Lifestyle, relative affordability and building equity should all be considered by those leaving the workforce behind for the easy life.

Our analysis has identified 10 suburbs which offer a combination of all three.

Lifestyle varies from person to person. Some are looking for a seachange, others a treechange and there are many who want to be within easy distance of family.

When it comes to ‘relative affordability’, that too can depend on the individual purchaser. For example, Bryon Bay is relatively affordable for a well-off downsizer from Sydney and Melbourne, but not necessarily for those moving from other areas.

There has certainly been an increase in the number of residents leaving Sydney for other destinations, with the latest ABS figures showing 27,300 people left the Greater Sydney area through 2017-18.

And, of course, building wealth or equity over time is just as important as the two other factors. In other words, they offer good lifestyle options, value for money and solid long-term capital growth projections.

We have identified three suburbs in Queensland, five in NSW, one in Victoria and one in Tasmania. There is no particular order, as each retiree must make their own decisions based on personal preference and budget. However, it should be noted, that this list relates only to houses, and not units.

Despite the recent downturn in the property market, these areas had either shown resilience or had already experienced good recovery and that strong long-term projections were “very clear”. And, in fact, some of these areas now presented even better opportunities thanks to the recent price reductions.

For example, the Mornington Peninsula, which has a median price of $691,200, experienced a price reduction of 10.2% in the past 12 months. This is compared to Greater Melbourne which delivered a price reduction of 11% in the past 12 months. Now, with the strong recovery of the market, the increasingly popular area of the Mornington Peninsula is able to provide good buying opportunities.

These areas will most likely reach a new peak or price level in about 12 months and will have fully recovered from the downturn.

Top places to retire for lifestyle, relative affordability and capital gains:

  • 1) Sunshine Coast, QLD

Both Peregian and Coolum beaches are based in this popular retiree area, drawn by its year-round idyllic climate, beautiful sandy beaches and lush hinterland subtropical forests. The region is only 100 kilometres from Brisbane, meaning they can enjoy the quiet life while still being only an hour’s drive from the hustle and bustle of a big city and all it has to offer. The Sunshine Coast offers a variety of housing styles and price ranges from the multimillion-dollar mansions to two-bedroom cottages depending on budget.

  • 2) Gold Coast, QLD

Miami on the Gold Coast has a median price of $722,570 which makes it relatively affordable for those migrating from higher priced areas such as Sydney or Melbourne. The Gold Coast is popular with retirees thanks to its beautiful beachside and waterside suburbs, unrivalled lifestyle and good infrastructure. An hour’s drive from the state capital Brisbane, Australia’s sixth largest city is appealing to active mature-aged people, who can enjoy walking on the beach or in the bush, fishing, boating and cultural pursuits with an appealing climate year-round.

  • 3) Central Coast, NSW

North Avoca, Terrigal and Wamberal on the Central Coast all offer superb lifestyle properties significantly more affordable than the beachside suburbs of Sydney and which still offer reasonable access to NSW’s capital. The area is popular with retirees and is characterised by rugged coastlines, sandy beaches, national parks, bays, inlets, waterfalls and lakes.

  • 4) Mornington Peninsula, VIC

The suburb, Mornington, is one of the most popular on the Mornington Peninsula and is about 80 kilometres southeast of Melbourne. It is a popular tourist and retiree destination thanks to its numerous attractions which include beaches, wineries, national parks, heritage sites and a plethora of golf courses.

  • 5) Byron Bay, NSW

This popular suburb is part of the northern region of NSW which is often referred to as ‘the Grey Coast’. Of all the suburbs on the Top 10 list, Byron Bay received the highest capital gains over the past five years of 83.1%. While its median house price was also the highest at $1.5 million, compared to Sydney and Melbourne prices, this is relatively affordable for those moving from these capital cities.

  • 6) Hobart, TAS

Thanks to its greater affordability when compared to Melbourne, Hobart has increasingly become a popular destination for retirees despite its colder climate. Originally a penal colony founded in 1804, the city is steeped in history and heritage. It is also a major drawcard for boaties, given its harbour is the second-deepest natural port in the world. The city is known for its arts and culture, its majestic scenery such as Mt Wellington, picturesque waterways including the Derwent River and rich café and restaurant scene.

  • 7) Hunter Valley, NSW

Louth Park in the Hunter Valley is about 120 kilometres north of Sydney. The region is one of Australia's major wine growing areas and is an attractive destination for retirees who enjoy its relative proximity to NSW’s capital city. As a popular tourist area, regular events and festivals are held throughout the Hunter Valley each year while World Heritage-listed parks provide tranquil areas to take in nature.

DORON PELEG is the CEO of RiskWise.

Staff reporter

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