Trends and Market Predictions for Retirement Living & Aged Care Design in 2019

Article by Charles Fortin, in discussion with Katrin Klinger

Article by Charles Fortin, in discussion with Katrin Klinger

The following are our Trends and Market predictions for the year to come:

  1. Non-for-profits are back! and hyper-busy as the residential economy is expected to remain slow for some time. For them, a slower economy causes more potential site to become available, lower development costs, and renewed interest from institutional investment funds seeking temporary safety heavens. Non-for-profits have some catching up to do and have been waiting for a market slow-down for some years now.

  2. Volume and momentum both pick up but are inconsistent. Planning approvals become easier and quicker for Retirement Living and Aged Care projects due to residential development applications being at a lowest in years. Aged Care SEPP and planning approvals become a prime focus within Government, but the key constraint remains with licensing approval times which ironically become lengthier, partially caused by a flood of new projects and entrants to the market.

  3. Quality is a concern. Public awareness generated by the Royal Commission and the media is welcome but will likely not lead to a quick-fix or a clear way forward as the root-cause of most problem can be linked to larger systematic failures, to do with lack of experience, training, or funds. The Commission will likely put additional pressure and constraints on licensing in an attempt to kerb predatorial practices and increase quality assurance and accountability.

  4. Aged Care professionals are on trend to become rare. This forces operators to revisit their business model. Professional-appeal becomes as important as markets, and operators and developers of new facilities acknowledge that some parts of their business case will need to be re-written to remain competitive. This results in new facilities being planned closer to population/lifestyle hubs, in more technology being introduced, and in good design becoming a premium.

  5. Tech makes a big entrance in the Retirement Living and Aged care space. Some key solutions are recognized as Essential Services, just as Mechanical, Electrical, Hydraulics, and Architects start paying attention to the benefits of certain IT systems earlier in the design process; new projects start receiving more significant Tech funding as a result. Larger Australian multi-disciplinary engineering firms follow suit and start offering software engineering services, following trend of other advanced economies. Fear of tech still persists with the customer however, and the Architect must think of ways to manage those concerns in areas where quality of life can be improved. 

  6. Specialist providers are thriving. More Australian Seniors are retiring, and they are healthier, wealthier, diverse, and sophisticated as ever. New offers range from theme retirement such as Golf Course living, Coastal Living, Mountain Living, Highrise super luxury living, as well as a gamut of denser and more affordable multi-generational options including shared Highrise living. All promise a smoother easier transition to an attractive lifestyle. Aged Care and Specialist Care such as Dementia or end-of-life care get more attention, and start experiencing good design.


Health and Aged Care Press Media Briefing – Sydney, 12 November 2018