Why size isn't everything in the property market

Carefully-considered decor can do wonders for an open-plan space.

If you’re looking to downsize the family home, take a moment to consider studio apartment living, says Paul Thomas, CEO at Gateway Credit Union.

The children have left the nest, retirement is looming and maintaining your family home is becoming tougher and tougher. It’s no wonder many Australians choose to downsize as they get older. But when it comes to trading the family home for a smaller property, how small is too small?

Enter the humble studio apartment. This once lowly cousin of the one-bedroom has become a well-suited housing option for mature downsizers. In fact, according to recent research from Gateway Credit Union, Baby Boomers are the most willing to buy a studio apartment (44.8 per cent) compared to younger cohorts. Here are a few benefits a studio can provide.

Affordability

Research commissioned by Gateway Credit Union revealed that 87.8 per cent of Australians aged 50 years and over believe anywhere up to $500,000 is a reasonable price to pay for a studio apartment. But a smaller property often comes with a smaller price tag and $500,000 is well above the national average cost of a studio apartment, which is good news if you’re looking to decrease your mortgage or increase your retirement nest egg.

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The $300k incentive

With a new proposal at hand, the government is aiming to incentivise downsizing for older property owners. Under the proposed changes, home owners aged 65 and over who are selling a home they have lived in for 10 or more years will be able to make a non-concessional contribution of up to $300,000 into their superannuation from the proceeds of the sale. That goes for both members of a couple, so the sale of a single home could mean a $600,000 boost to a couple’s retirement fund.

Low maintenance

Between housework, gardening, keeping the gutters clean, painting and other bits and pieces, maintaining a large house can take a substantial amount of time and resources.  

With a studio apartment, all structural will be looked after by your strata management. And since you’d only have one room to clean, you could spend more time doing the things you really enjoy.

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Smaller spaces also require less electricity for heating, cooling, and general use. With an average studio apartment boasting 40 square metres, rising energy prices won’t seem as daunting.

Location, location, location

Most studio apartments are found in thriving communities close to public transport, hospitals, shops, restaurants and entertainment, so you’ll have everything you need right at your fingertips.  As you get older, being close to medical and transport amenities can also be a huge helping hand.

Affordability, convenience and lifestyle factors have been big drivers behind the growing positive sentiment toward studio apartment living for mature downsizers. It’s well worth taking a look at studio apartments if you’re considering making the leap to downsize.

 Would you consider living in a studio apartment?