Property Trend: Catering for an ageing population

Dec 13, 2016 | Investment, Slider, Trends

As healthcare improves and life expectancy extends, property developers are increasingly building for an older population

Developers in the US and Europe have been catering to senior citizens for some time. And it seems that South Africa is finally catching up. People over the age of 60 make up about 8% of the population, with those aged 50 or above make up about 15%. This figure is expected to rise as life expectancy increases every year. Affordable retirement property is in great demand as older buyers seek to lessen the pressures of home ownership and security issues. Sectional title schemes are thus an attractive option to keep costs down.


As well as security, which is front of mind for many older buyers, retirement properties need to be single-level with wheelchair access, include medical care such as full-time nursing and incorporate restaurant facilities. But they also need to cater to the younger, more independent retiree who recognises the need for these amenities but still wants to live a full, rich life. “There is a shortage of retirement villages in South Africa that cater to this market,” explains Simon Bray, CEO of Private Property. “Some have waiting lists of 10 years or more. Property developers have recognised the demand and are building more of this type of property.”

Private Property also reports that there are certain retiree hot spots particularly popular with older buyers. These include the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast in the Scottburgh area; Howick, also in KZN; and the Cape Winelands. In Gauteng, areas such as Alberton and Moot are popular due to their facilities, the lifestyle they offer and their reasonably priced property. Wherever this next flock of senior citizens chooses to settle, it’s a property segment worth keeping an eye on. It’s not often that such a desirable portion of society is in the market for such a specific kind of home.

Words Bridget McNulty

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