Councils not prepared for ageing downsizers

Stephen Nicholls from the Sydney Morning Herald writes: Research has identified 20 ageing ''hot spots'' in need of more apartments for downsizers.

Umina Beach on the central coast tops the list: 33 per cent of residents are aged over 55. Mosman is next at 29 per cent.

''I think really people who downsize do want to stay local,'' said MacroPlan chief economist Jason Anderson, who based his research on the 2011 Census. In many hot spots, not enough apartments are being built that would be suitable for downsizers, who are forced to stay in their houses or move to another area.

''Generally, downsizers go for buildings that have lifts,'' he said. But for a project with lifts to be viable, it needed to be five or six storeys, plans which are difficult to get through some councils.

Chief executive of developer lobby group Urban Taskforce, Chris Johnson, who commissioned the research, said Sydney was ill-prepared for an expected increase in the number of residents aged over 65.

''The councils where these older people are need to take on board the fact that this is a trend that is going to occur in many parts of Sydney.''

Other ageing areas were Carlingford and Greystanes (28 per cent aged over 55); Castle Hill (27); Bexley, Epping, Ryde and Maroubra (26) and Strathfield and Baulkham Hills (25).

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