New data has revealed the most popular suburbs for empty nesters and highlighted the fact that older Australians tend to flock together in ‘tribes’ in a bid to live alongside people with a similar lifestyle and interests to themselves.
The findings were collated by realestate.com.au and revealed the most popular suburbs across Australia for those whose children have flown the nest, including the likes of Cleveland and Redcliffe in Queensland, Bayview and Bonnet Bay in New South Wales and Toorak in Victoria.
The research also revealed that, depending which state you live in, there is a variation in the types of areas most sought after by empty nesters, with coastal towns heavily populated by empty nesters in New South Wales, while more leafy suburbs are the locality of choice in Victoria.
“Partly it has to do with what is fashionable at the time at which people settle,” realestate.com.au’s Chief Economist Nerida Conisbee told Starts at 60. “When older Australians were young, it was aspirational to live in the outer suburbs on a big block and so we find high proportions of older people in these areas.
“For younger generations, living close to the city is now more popular and they don’t necessarily want to live in the suburbs that their parents live in. The type of housing though is also important – for young families, living in a house becomes more of a necessity when children are born. It is expensive to live in a house now in many inner suburbs.”
The findings used data collected by the property website, alongside data from the 2016 Census, to determine the most in-demand postcodes per state among empty nesters, ranking homes within a suburb by the collective number of page views over a three month period.
Median house prices in those areas were also collated, with the most affluent area being Toorak in Victoria, which was found to be the most popular among empty nesters with an average house price of $3,867,500.
Conisbee added that people tend to remain in their family home, or at least in the same area, once their children have moved out as the cost of raising children is no longer a burden, often freeing up extra cash which can be put towards maintaining the home.
“There is a lot of resistance from many to downsize, driven in part by the tax system – an owner occupied home is a tax-free asset,” she added. “The pension is also not impacted by the value of the family home. If you sell and make a profit on the house, then you can be liable to more tax, or alternatively lose out on the pension.
“The other challenge is that people have a lot of memories attached to the family home so this can make moving difficult. Nevertheless, we do see people downsize when a big home becomes difficult to maintain. Typically though people tend to stay close to where they lived initially.”