South Africa, like the rest of the world, is experiencing a burgeoning growth within the retirement sector.
Research shows that people are living much longer now than they did a decade ago, with most people surviving 25 years longer than their parents. Worryingly, the amount of over 65s in the world is expected to triple by the year 2050, to approximately 1.5 billion, equating to 16 percent of the world’s population.
The figures are telling and are likely to cause a huge strain on retirement living conditions and an already significant shortfall in frail care living. It goes without saying that the demand for retirement products will continue to grow exponentially as the number of retirees also increases.
In South Africa, this has meant a huge and rather sudden demand for retirement housing opportunities, especially by those aged between 50-65, who see the realities of the market and find retirement opportunities even more desirable. More established retirement estates within KwaZulu-Natal especially for example, already have waiting lists that range from 1 to 25 years.
Tongaat Hulett, a well-established developer that has been working in the region for the last 35 years has noticed the gap in the market for retirement homes in the KwaZulu Natal region and capitalised on the opportunity. After conducting extensive research into the retirement market, they made a strategic decision to launch the Retire KZN campaign almost 18 months ago.
The aim is to identify, create and share with the public retirement developments within the region. , They have established a community of almost 3 000 online members. The initiative has, for a start, helped to facilitate the commencement of two new retirement developments in KwaZulu-Natal, and in doing so, injected approximately R1 billion in retirement investments into the local economy.
The first development to officially break ground was Mount Edgecombe Retirement Village when they commenced with construction of their care centre and 110 units as part of Phase One in 2017. The development, which is presented by Collins Residential, sits within the meandering hills of Kindlewood Estate.
Upon completion, it will comprise 260 one, two and three-bedroom single level sectional title units, as well as a limited number of freestanding homes, all of which will be pet-friendly. Kindlewood Estate offers tranquil, contemporary living with nature on its doorstep and homeowners can enjoy vast open spaces, walking paths, wetlands and an abundance of birdlife, as well as golfing and bowls facilities and the Kindlewood clubhouse.
With the enormous demand for retirement living options, retirement developments like Mount Edgecombe Retirement Village, are likely to experience healthy capital appreciation and rental yields that far exceed that of a regular residential development. Buyers who purchase off-plan also have the added benefit of no transfer fees, making it a sound investment option.
Shoreline Sibaya is the second retirement introduction to the market but the first retirement opportunity within the premier Sibaya Coastal Precinct along the North Coast.
The modern and luxurious retirement opportunity features single-level sectional title apartments, consisting of one, two and three-bedroom options. The secure, pet-friendly estate is party of Carmel Properties, and offers onsite healthcare, an array of engaging facilities, plenty of green open areas and exceptional sea or North-facing views.
There are often more factors involved in the purchasing process, and it takes a lot of skill and expertise in the market to get the product offering and healthcare mix in line with the market preference. Developers are appreciating market insights such as that 69% of the market is looking for retirement units under R2 million. It is why all units within Shoreline Sibaya have been configured in line with market demand and needs and are priced competitively from R1.4 million.
Working towards a common goal, Tongaat Hulett’s relationship with developers gives them an opportunity to share retirement developments within KZN, and open these new opportunities to the public. Tongaat Hulett recently transacted one of the largest retirement life-rights developers in the country, Evergreen Lifestyle, with a 640-unit retirement development in Umhlanga Ridge as well as another 750 units within Zimbali Lakes in Balito.
One of the reasons why Retire KZN has been such a resounding success is because of its successes in transforming the perception of retirement in KwaZulu-Natal. Retire KZN has assisted in profiling KwaZulu-Natal as the ideal retirement destination for retirees and developers alike. In fact, Durban has been ranked as the best South African city to live in by the Knight Frank Global Residential Cities Index 2017 and is on her way to become the most popular retirement destinations in South Africa too, putting it on par with other retirement hotspots the likes of, for example, Florida in the USA.
Florida is known for attracting retirees, and boasts the highest share of senior citizens in the USA, while still maintaining a steady influx. Similarly, KwaZulu-Natal boasts the same drawcards as Florida, with a year-round warm climate, beautiful beaches, world-class attractions including big five games reserves, and vast lush landscapes right on its doorstep. Some of the other key similarities lie in the lower cost of living, as KwaZulu-Natal is known to be more economical than Cape Town and Johannesburg. In addition, there is a wide range of recreational facilities including beaches, golf, nature destinations and the usual urban delights; Durban has a vibrant art scene, and the province has a good private healthcare infrastructure. Retire KZN is a bold initiative that is taking the growth trajectory for the province to another level. By positioning KZN as the retirement destination in South Africa if not the world, Tongaat Hulett is successfully giving both retirement and KZN the attention they rightfully deserve.