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Another alternative for customers is build to rent – a new challenge to retirement villages

In Europe and America the concept of really long-term rental leases is common.

Very simply, a renter can rent their apartment home for, say, 50 years in the lease.

Unlike Australia, where most leases are a maximum of three years, with the 50-year lease you can settle down knowing that your apartment is your home for as long as you want it to be.

Build to rent in Australia

Over the past 24 months, there has been a significant jump in the developers and financiers committing to the build-to-rent model here in Australia.

They are all medium to high-rise apartment developments in key city or suburban locations, next to shops, medical services and transport.

Same but different to retirement villages

The appeal for ageing Australians is they can sell the family home and keep all the cash as a lump sum, which they draw down slowly, paying the monthly rent.

They get a new home in a vibrant community. In most cases the developer commits to provide a building manager – who acts like a concierge. Sounds like a retirement village.

However, it is different because the residents don’t have all the protections provided by the Retirement Villages Act, which has very real benefits.

But there is no escaping that build-to-rent adds choice, and the number of homes coming to the market is big.

Last week, Macquarie Bank announced it was creating a new division called Local. Over the next five years, it intends to build 15 to 20 build-to-rent buildings with more than 4000 rental units – and these are just some of many coming to the market.

Your skills in demand

We are already seeing build-to-rent developers looking for community managers. Your skills will be in high demand. Watch this space.

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