This month I’m going to look at one of the fastest growing types of housing – retirement villages. There are often several different typologies in a retirement village, from detached villas to duplexes, independent apartments, serviced apartments through to rest home, hospital and dementia care – but let’s set that to one side.
The RCG Development Tracker shows that there are new retirement villages, and expansions to existing villages, happening around the country – even places that don’t have a lot of population growth.
We can get a good gauge on how much retirement village development is going on by looking at building consents. As the chart below shows, the sector is expanding faster than it ever has before.*
Growth has really kicked up a notch in the last few years, with two major growth spurts in 2011-12 and 2014-15 and that growth being sustained. around 1,900. There are around 25,000 retirement village units in New Zealand, so we’re talking 7% or 8% growth a year.
With the major players all holding “land banks” for future expansion, and an ageing population, it’s a pretty safe bet we’ll be seeing more retirement villages in the future.
Auckland Housing Growth
May 2015 wasn’t a great month for building consents in Auckland – 651 new dwellings were approved, up from 611 in May 2014 but a smaller increase than we’ve been seeing recently. In the last 12 months, 8,195 homes were consented. That’s still a long way short of Auckland Plan targets or current demand.
As noted previously, most of the growth in the last year or so has been in the higher-density dwellings: apartments, townhouses, retirement villages.
Long Train Running
Various projects have been added or updated in the Tracker, but perhaps of most interest is that I’ve added in the Wellington rail network (although I haven’t shown it all the way out to Wairarapa). Rail in Wellington is a very different kettle of fish to Auckland – five lines winding their way through valleys, hills and tunnels, converging on a single station at the northern end of Wellington’s city centre.
With trains a long-established part of the Wellington environment, and electric trains running on some lines since the 1930s, the city has about 12 million train passengers a year. Auckland has only recently overtaken this.