Four Corners program on retirement villages: industry response

The Retirement Living Council is the peak body for Australia’s retirement villages which provide homes and communities for over 184,000 Australians.

Though we wanted the opportunity to participate in tonight’s Four Corners program, we weren’t given the chance to put the industry’s point of view.

That’s a pity, because the industry (including Aveo) has been working hard to simplify its contracts in recent years. It is in everyone’s interest that potential residents as well as their families understand how the contracts work.

Our industry is proud of the service our members provide every day at hundreds of retirement villages across Australia. Of course, the industry can always improve, continue to make contracts clearer, and better customise its services and interactions with residents. Mostly, our members are getting it right every day. 

So here are five key facts about retirement villages that won’t be seen on tonight’s Four Corners programme.

  1. Industry surveys have found most residents believe the financial agreement they reached with their retirement village is fair: 83 per cent regard their fees as reasonable and 70 per cent said the cost of living was the same or less than when they lived in their family home. 
  2. If they had their time over to make the same choice to move into a retirement village, 98 per cent of residents said they would move again.
  3. Village accommodation prices are significantly less than median house prices (with average entry level prices still below $400,000). The entry price for an average two-bedroom retirement village unit is one third less than the median house price in the same postcode.
  4. The deferred management fee (DMF) model used by most retirement village operators enables residents – of which the vast majority access an age pension – to effectively part-pay for their villa or apartment at the end of their tenure when their place is resold. This means a lower entry price that makes village living more accessible and affordable.
  5. In most states, regulations ensure that each prospective resident is given a fact sheet and/or disclosure statement, to help them compare villages, inspect documents such as the village accounts, and understand the costs of moving in and out. A cooling off period ensures residents who sign the contract can change their mind.

You can read Aveo’s detailed response to Four Corners at: www.aveo.com.au/4corners      

You can find out more about what the industry is doing to simplify resident contracts in retirement villages by visiting www.retirementliving.org.au

Media contact:  Paul Ritchie  |  E pritchie@propertycouncil.com.au