01/10/2018. Solidarity's Helping Hand members donated food and other things to Huis Davidtsz Old Age Home in the CBD, Pretoria as part of celebrating International Grandparents Day. The notion of a traditional old age home has lost its appeal, as people live longer and stay more active. Picture: Bongani Shilubane/African News Agency (ANA)
DURBAN - The notion  of a traditional old age home has lost its appeal, as people live longer and stay more active.

This is according to Sandra Gordon, senior research and market analyst at Pam Golding Properties.

Gor don said retirees are looking for contemporary, secure lock-up-and-go living that offers access to various amenities and activities.

She said that according to Statistics SA’s mid-2018 report, those aged 60 and over made up 8.5 percent of the population and that this proportion was expected to continue to grow.

“Lightstone (Property Forecast) notes that more and more South Africans over the age of 65 are purchasing luxury homes in the Western Cape. During 2016 more than 70 percent of property sales in some suburbs (in Knysna and Somerset West) were made to people older than 65. Lightstone, which has been tracking this trend for over a decade, reveals that there is an increase in senior citizens investing in property in the Western Cape. In 2005, when Lightstone started tracking the numbers, 22 percent of residential properties that transacted in the province were purchased by buyers over the age of 65. This had increased to 35 percent in 2016,” said Gordon.
She added that people were also opting to downscale from large, family homes sooner than before,and that the reason for their change was often fuelled by a desire for a new lifestyle, rather than because of financial reasons.

“Many of these buyers are also willing to sacrifice space for location and lifestyle, as a well-located lock-up-and-go apartment reduces both the time spent negotiating traffic congestion and the time and money spent on home maintenance and utilities. Many of the new retirement complexes offer a combination of independent living, with top-notch facilities such as swimming pools and gyms, as well as medical and frail care on-site. A popular purchase option is to buy on a retirement home on a Life Right basis. This gives the owner the security of tenure for the remainder of his life, but is not a property transfer as there are no bond registration fees, transfer duties and no VAT is payable,” said Gordon.

She said retirement accommodation was also a good investment proposition as the shortage of options for this growing market meants that there was  a strong rental demand.

“An example of upmarket retirement living is Quadrant Gardens in Claremont, due for completion in June 219. Designed for the over-60s, Quadrant Gardens comprises 75 spacious apartments, from approximately R2.15 million to upwards of R6.5m. Features include a frail care centre, recreational area with a croquet course, astro turf and space for relaxation, a private courtyard and library,” said Gordon.

Elmar van Tonder, an agent with Seeff Hermanus, said Hermanus was one of the top retirement destinations in the country, in demand for its excellent and healthy climate, coastal locatiion , top class infrastructure and close proximity to Cape Town and the international airport.

Van Tonder said there were a number of retirement developments on Hermanus and they were always in demand.

“Older people from across the country and globe flock to the town, not all of them choose to invest in a retirement village, many will buy their choice of free-standing home, ranging from luxury to golf estate homes, or perhaps a home in an estate, a beach apartment,” said Van Tonder.