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Saturday, December 4, 2021

$55m over-50s community for Bendigo

A $55 million land lease development by Melbourne-based company, Vital Communities, is promising to deliver resort-style homes at $150,000 below the median house price in Bendigo.

City of Great Bendigo Council has approved the development of the 147-home lifestyle community next to the Bendigo Golf Club.

Aimed at the over-50s market, the homes will be built around a resort-style health and wellbeing centre on a 7ha ‘land lease’ estate in close proximity to Epsom Station and local shops.

Vital Communities Head of Acquisitions and Planning, Rob Evans, says residential land lease communities like Vital Bendigo are set to boom in regional Victoria given their appeal among ‘downsizers’ and semi-retirees who value staying active and close to where they live.

“In the land lease model, the resident buys the house but leases the land it sits on to reduce the purchase price.”

“The price of a Vital Bendigo home is about $150,000 lower than the median house price in Bendigo,” he said.

“These savings enable residents to stay in the communities they love and, if they are eligible for the pension, they may also be able to take advantage of government rent assistance.

“There is no Stamp Duty payable on a land lease home, and while they don’t own the land, residents still own their own home. Residents end-up with more money in retirement and for their future lifestyle,” said Mr Evans.

Mr Evans said research showed that the number of people departing capital cities for regional areas had jumped by nearly 30% this year.

“For Australians aged 65-plus, the increase over the same period was 51.2 per cent, more than double the increase for all age groups,” he said.

“Population shifts into regional areas are not new thanks to the tree and sea change movements. However, this movement has been supercharged by the pandemic.”

But Mr Evans said ABS data also showed the number of people wanting to stay in regional centres had also increased.

“Bendigo’s growing population of retirees, pre-retirees, and ‘re-locators’ is adding to local housing affordability woes and increasing demand on local government funded community facilities and services.”

“Vital Bendigo is ideally placed to alleviate these pressures,” he said.

As well as major regional centres, he said Vital Communities was targeting locations in the growth suburbs of eastern Melbourne for future site acquisitions and development.

“We are currently in negotiations to secure sites to the west and north of Melbourne to provide active lifestyle estates,” he said.

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