Retirees to favour master planned communities by 2031: Urban Economics

Zoe FieldingOctober 6, 20140 min read

Master planned communities will be South East Queensland's retirement hot spots in 2031, taking over from sea change destinations that are home to the largest numbers of older Australians now, Urban Economics predicts.

Bribie Island had South East Queensland's largest population of people aged over 65 in 2011, according to Urban Economics analysis of census data. The Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast were also popular retirement destinations.

"We are going to continue to see those areas as important but going into 2021, tree change areas pick up in importance, then to 2031, growth areas such as Greenbank and Ripley – the master planned communities – become important," Urban Economics managing director Kerrianne Bonwick-Meulman said.

The researcher forecast that in 2021 Bribie Island would continue to be home to South East Queensland's largest population of retirees with an estimated 4246 people aged 65 to 74; 3695 people aged 75 to 84 years; and 1454 people aged over 85.

But by 2031, Ripley near Ipswich would take over with a projected population of 7947 people aged 65 to 74; 5807 people aged 75 to 84; and 2765 people aged 85 plus.

Bonwick-Meulman said the shift was related to land availability.

Families moving to master planned areas now would be approaching their early, active retirement years in 2031 and would want to remain in their neighbourhoods, she said.

The trend meant there was a need to ensure master planned communities could cater to the needs of older people by incorporating health care facilities and smaller houses aimed at retirees downsizing their homes for example.

"It's about providing choice and diversity of housing stock that can best meet their needs," Bonwick-Meulman said.

Developments completed in the 1970s where most residents are now approaching retirement often lack the facilities that older people need to remain in the community.

Bonwick-Meulman said there was an opportunity for South East Queensland's master planned communities currently in the development stages, such as Ripley, Springfield and Greenbank, to ensure people who are buying into those areas now know that there will be options for them when they are older.

South East Queensland suburbs with the highest population of 65-74 year olds

Bribie Island3,290Bribie Island4,246Ripley7,947
Southport2,530Noosa Hinterland3,477Greenbank5,298
Noosa Hinterland2,323Southport3,311Southport4,250
Beachmere - Sandstone Pt2,131Robina3,068Bribie Island4,232
Maroochydore - Kuluin2,066Maroochydoore - Kuluin2,797Noosa Hinterland4,045

South East Queensland suburbs with the highest population of 75-84 year olds

2011 2021 2031 
Bribie Island2,446Bribie Island3,695Ripley5,807
Maroochydore - Kuluin1,381Beachmere - Sandstone Pt2,052Southport3,610
Beachmere - Sandstone Pt1,344Noosa Hinterland1,923Caloundra - West3,139
Caloundra - West1,294Maroochydore - Kuluin1,839Southport2,975

South East Queensland suburbs with the highest population of 80+ year olds

2011 2021 2031 
Southport964Bribie Island1,454Ripley2,765
Nambour644Southport1,151Bribie Island2,237
Bribie Island626Maroochydore - Kuluin969Caloundra - West1,999
Caloundra - West583Caloundra - West891Southport1,606
Maroochydore - Kuluin581Cleveland872Robina1,403
















Zoe Fielding

I am a freelance journalist and editor with more than 15 years experience specialising in personal finance, property, financial services and financial technology. A skilled writer and researcher, I have extensive experience producing high quality content for corporate and media clients. I am used to working to tight deadlines and tailoring the pieces I produce to suit a variety of audiences and formats.
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