A retirement village is a complex of apartments or villas that provides housing to people aged over 55. A few operators state they are for 75 plus residents and the average age of residents entering villages is 75.

The traditional appeal of retirement villages is generally that they allow residents to lead independent lives in their own homes, while being able to enjoy a variety of shared facilities and a sense of community through village life.

There are around 170,000 independent living units in retirement villages, according to News Corp’s REA Group Retirement Living Report 2021. The majority of these are located in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to find a vacancy in a retirement village. The 2022 PwC / Property Council Retirement Village Census said the village occupancy rate across a sample of 531 locations was 89% between 2021 and 2022. Villages in Tasmania, Canberra and South Australia were full, with the rest having around 5%+ vacancies.

The Retirement Living Council’s report Better Health for Better Health stated residents in retirement communities are:

  • 15% more physically active;
  • 41% happier, and both physically and mentally healthier;
  • Five times more socially active;
  • Twice as likely to catch up with family or friends; and
  • Have reduced levels of depression and loneliness, saving governments almost $5 million in additional healthcare costs.

Retirement villages are allowed to let Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care-funded Home Care into a resident’s apartment if needed.  Increasingly, they are providing the service themselves.