Think tank says not enough downsizing options for older Aussies – are retirement villages the solution?
Grattan Institute CEO John Daley has labelled calls for the West Australian government to give over-65’s a $10,000 stamp duty discount a “free kick for seniors” – because the tax is not the main consideration for most looking to downsize.
The policy had previously been adopted by the Barnett government but was never brought in after they lost the election in 2017. Victoria and the ACT do have similar policies too.
But Mr Daley says these measures have only driven up house prices, with his research earlier this year showing stamp duty costs were only a problem for about five per cent of downsizers.
In our own backyards
So what’s the real sticking point? He says the bigger problem for most empty-nesters is that middle-ring suburbs have too many detached homes and not enough units or smaller housing for downsizers – in short, not enough medium-density housing like retirement villages.
While villages are already exempt from stamp duty, it’s a reminder that the majority of people don’t downsize for financial reasons, but for lifestyle ones.
This is where villages can come in, offering a sense of community together and a low-maintenance lifestyle while staying close to family and friends – as long as we encourage more developments in our own neighbourhoods.