18/04/2006 - 22:00

Villages offer lifestyle and future investment

18/04/2006 - 22:00

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Lifestyle villages are hot property thanks to a booming market and an ageing population wishing to sell up and settle in to a village with a difference.

Villages offer lifestyle and future investment

Lifestyle villages are hot property thanks to a booming market and an ageing population wishing to sell up and settle in to a village with a difference.

No longer just retirement villages, these satellite communities can feature day spas, health clubs and internet access as part of a package available to long-term lessees.

The RSL (WA) Retirement and Aged Care Association has just launched its $25 million Menora Gardens redevelopment at Menora to cash in on the lifestyle trend.

The development consists of 42 single-storey villas and two four-storey apartment buildings, housing 56 apartments, around a community centre called ‘the club’.

Complete with underground parking, community hall with bar, dining, pool, spa and gym facilities, as well as a hairdressing salon, the apartments also have internet access, emergency call systems and internal communication systems accessed through the television.

RSL (WA) Retirement and Aged Care Association project manager Ken Hamilton said the group recently opened the apartments and villas for viewing and sold 10 apartments within an hour for an average price of $450,000, mainly to buyers aged over 70.

“Apartment living is pretty new within the aged-care industry and a courageous move on our behalf. The apartments are designed for independent living and many people take advantage of the government-funded care packages so they can remain living in their homes without needing full-time residential care,” he said. 

Mr Hamilton said the development provided a good financial return for the RSL, as the organisation would take 25 per cent of the capital once the properties were re-sold.

A new $15 million, 120-bed residential care facility development is also due for commencement, with plans for an opening in mid 2007.

As part of the association’s strategic plan to expand into regional WA, it hopes to develop new villages in Dongara and Jurien Bay to add to its existing portfolio in Geraldton and Mandurah.

Another group expanding its lifestyle property portfolio is National Lifestyle Villages, which has already established itself in Mandurah with the Bridgewater village comprising 289 individual park homes.

National Lifestyle Village is currently seeking approval for a 415-home development in Rockingham.

The group caters to those who no longer need a home in the suburbs but are not ready for a retirement village.

The group’s metropolitan sites include Joondalup, Wanneroo, High Wycombe, Madeley, and further south to Rockingham and Busselton.

Residents can free-up the capital cost and responsibilities of land ownership by owning the asset of their home and, depending on the village they move to, having the security of tenure of a lifetime lease.

Park home prices range from $160,000 to $275,000 with a median price of $190,000.

Residents of National Lifestyle’s villages have access to resort-style sporting and entertainment facilities including tennis, squash and badminton courts, art and craft studio, workshop, library, 50-seat cinema and even vegetable garden allotments.

National Lifestyle Villages managing director John Wood told WA Business News the company was seeking planning approval for three more villages and had several others on the drawing board.

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