On 20 August 2015, PwC and the Property Council of Australia released their 2015 PwC/Property Council Retirement Census (Census).

This annual Census is the first of its kind to collect data from the entire retirement living industry, which comprises both large and small retirement village operators representing more than 50,000 homes in retirement villages across Australia.  The information collected includes things such as occupancy rates, unit sale prices, average resident ages and unit selling periods.

Some of the main results from the Census include:

  1. women make up 67% of retirement village residents;
  2. the largest demographic in retirement villages are single females (at 51%), followed by couples (at 36%) and single males (at 13%);
  3. on average, residents of retirement villages enter a village at the age of 74, residents have an average age of 81, and residents remain in a retirement village for 7 years;
  4. 71% of retirement village units are two bedrooms;
  5. Australia wide, the average 2 bedroom retirement village unit costs $385,000 (being 68% of the median house price), which is up $10,000 from the 2014 Census data;
  6. the average monthly service fee is $434; and
  7. throughout Australia, retirement villages have an average occupancy rate of 91%.

The Property Council said of the Census that it “shows that villages in fact provide affordable housing for pensioners, particularly single women”.  Indeed, this comprehensive survey provides useful data about the retirement village industry in Australia, which will be useful both to the private sector and governments alike. 

The full results of the Census can be viewed on the Property Council of Australia’s website.