The Top 7 areas to Retire & Build Equity

As a growing number of Australians start to think about retirement, thoughts also turn to finding not only a place that suits their changing lifestyle, but also somewhere that will deliver long-term capital growth.

Many are retiring younger and are expected to live longer, so finding the right place that will build equity is extremely important to them. Beach 2090091 1920

As such, RiskWise Property Research has identified 7 regions which offer good lifestyle options, value for money and solid capital growth.

Wth exceptional price increases, mainly in Sydney and Melbourne, the challenge of finding an attractive retirement destination had become harder.

The decision where to retire is a big one and definitely requires careful consideration.

Many people are now retiring early and enjoy good health and longer life expectancy than ever before.

Typically, the top three factors in retirees’ decisions are the area must suit their (new) lifestyle and passions, it must be affordable for them and it also needs to deliver long-term capital growth, so they’ll be able to leave something for the children.  

RiskWise had assessed a large number of areas around the country and identified the Top 7 places to retire that presented a good balance between lifestyle, affordability and potential capital growth.

Each and every one of these areas delivered solid capital growth in recent years – some, obviously, better than the others – and they are also projected to deliver that in the long-term,” he said.

We have identified two areas in Queensland, three in NSW, one in Victoria and one in Tasmania.

There is no particular order, as each retiree must make their own decisions based on personal preference and budget.

However, it should be noted, that this list relates only to houses, and not units.

Top 7 areas to retire and build equity

Sunshine Coast, QLD

Unsurprisingly, the Sunshine Coast is popular with retirees.

Famous for its year-round idyllic climate, beautiful sandy beaches and lush hinterland subtropical forests, the region is only 100km from the state capital of Queensland, Brisbane.

Meaning they can enjoy the quiet life while being only an hour’s drive from the hustle and bustle of a big city and all it has to offer. Queensland Australia

While Noosa is seen as the epicentre of all the action, there are some enticing suburbs which are particularly appealing to retirees.

While Noosa is by no means a bustling metropolis and is certainly considered fairly laid-back compared to other coastal hubs such as Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast, it is a tourist destination and as such is fairly busy at peak times.

The median house price in Noosa is around the $1 million, meaning its attraction to retirees is probably lessened.

However, its nearby less-populated suburbs are definitely an attractive alternative.

These include the relaxed, lifestyle zones of Peregian Beach and Coolum Beach, and inland areas such as picturesque Kenilworth and Eumundi, which are surrounded by farmland and subtropical rainforest.

The Sunshine Coast has a variety of houses available from the multimillion-dollar mansions of Noosa Heads to two-bedroom cottages nestled in the hinterland, yet a short drive from the coast.

Prices range depending on the budget. Areas RiskWise has identified as having solid capital growth are Peregian Beach with a median price of $764,000 and Coolum Beach with a median price of $638,000.

Gold Coast, QLD

The Gold Coast is a popular destination for retirees and was once nicknamed God’s Waiting Room.

While it has been the brunt of bad publicity, mainly centred around regular violent incidences in Surfers Paradise, for the more mature residents it offers beautiful beachside and waterside suburbs, an unrivalled lifestyle and good infrastructure. Brisbane City CBD, Queensland, Australia

An hour’s drive from the state capital Brisbane, the Gold Coast is the sixth largest city in Australia and is forecast to have 1.2 million residents living there by 2050, according to demographer Bernard Salt.

And as Australia’s ageing population grows, many of these will head to the Gold Coast to take advantage of its suburb lifestyle of sandy golden beaches and lush hinterland.

The region is appealing to retirees who can enjoy an active community of like-minded mature-aged people, and lifestyle drawcards such as walking on the beach or in the bush, fishing, boating and cultural pursuits.

The weather too is fairly warm all year around making it a desirable proposition for southeners.

The Gold Coast has a stable property market that offers relatively affordable beachside suburbs, such as Miami which has a median house price of $749,000 and solid long-term capital growth.

Central Coast, NSW

The Central Coast offers beautiful beachside suburbs, reasonable access to Sydney and a price range that is significantly more affordable than the beachside suburbs of the capital city.

The area has a whole lot to offer from patches of rugged coastline to sandy beaches, national parks, bays, inlets, waterfalls and lakes. NSW Economy in 2017

A mix between urban and rural, it is bounded by the Pacific Ocean along its coastline, the Hawkesbury River to the south, the Watagan Mountains in the west and Lake Macquarie in the north.

While Gosford is its largest population centre, there are plenty of smaller quaint beachside or rural towns that have abundant appeal for retirees and yet are still within less than two hour’s drive from Sydney.

Suburbs RiskWise has identified as likely to enjoy solid long-term capital growth include North Avoca with a median price of $1 million, Terrigal with a median price of $919,000 and Wamberal with a median price of $994,000.

Mornington Peninsula, VIC

Mornington Peninsula is about 80km southeast of Melbourne and is a popular tourist destination for the Victorian capital’s residents.  Pier 2811284 1920

The peninsula’s attractions include a number of beaches in the more sheltered areas of Port Phillip and Western Port, and on the open-sea facing Bass Strait.

The area is also known for its wineries, national and conservation parks and plethora of golf courses.

There are also a number of heritage areas including at Point Nepean and Sorrento, an old Quarantine Station and an 1850s lighthouse at Cape Schanck.

The property market on the Mornington Peninsula is solid with a median house price of $742,000.

In fact, houses have experienced capital growth of 48 per cent in the past five years.

The suburb Mornington is one of the most popular suburbs in the peninsula, has a median price of $771,000 and solid long-term capital growth.

Byron Bay, NSW

This popular suburb has achieved an astounding capital growth of 90 per cent in the past five years.

Once referred to as a hippie town, over the years it has morphed into a thriving destination for cashed-up buyers who love true beachside living in a vibrant community. Byron 2827989 1920

However, as the northern region of NSW has been referred to as ‘the Grey Coast’ (a not-so subtle play on the words ‘the Gold Coast’ of which it borders), it’s clear eyes are turning towards its more laidback cousin and seeing Byron Bay as a charming place in which to retiree.

In fact, it could be said that Byron Bay has gone from hippie heaven to yuppie utopia to having a more mature make-up with plenty to offer the senior generation.

With a median house price of $1.37 million, where beachside properties cost multi-million dollars, this area requires very healthy equity.

Hobart, TAS

The capital of the Apple Isle, Hobart has become a popular destination in recent years for retirees, despite its colder climate, especially in winter when it can drop to single digits, sometime into the minus. About once every 15 years snow falls on the city.

Originally a penal colony founded in 1804, the city is steeped in history and heritage. Hobart

The most southern of Australia’s capital cities, its harbour is the second-deepest natural port in the world, making it a popular destination for boaties.

Hobart is also known for its arts and culture, its majestic scenery such as Mt Wellington, picturesque waterways including the Derwent River and rich café and restaurant scene.

With a median house price of $402,000, strong capital growth and good long-term projections, the area presents a solid market.

Also, due to the great affordability, even suburbs that are located within less than 2km from the CBD, such as North Hobart and South Hobart, with median houses prices of $582,000 and $631,000, respectively, are very affordable compared to Melbourne.

Hunter Valley, NSW

The Hunter Valley is about 120km north of Sydney in one of Australia’s major wine regions with some of these considered among the best in the world.

It is an attractive destination for retirees who enjoy its relative proximity to Sydney.  Ocean 250222 1920

While about 55 per cent of the population live in either Newcastle or Lake Macquarie, there are numerous picturesque towns and villages throughout the river valley which have enormous appeal for retirees.

As a popular tourist area, regular events and festivals are held there each year and World Heritage parks provide tranquil areas to take in nature.

Overall, many suburbs in the area have enjoyed relatively good capital growth in recent years.

The region offers a number of different price options, from $400,000 up to $1 million, and in some instances, multimillion-dollar properties.

One example of a suburb that has delivered solid capital growth in recent years is Louth Park, with a median house price of $889,000.

The table below shows the median house price, alongside their one and five-year capital growth, of Riskwise’s Top 11 suburbs in which to retire:

Top 7 Placed To Retire Table


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Doron Peleg


is the CEO/Founder of RiseWise Property Review. He has more than 20 years’ experience in risk management including, Co-Founder of Peleg, Kessel & Co, an assurance and advisory accounting firm & Executive Manager at Westpac Banking Corporation in Sydney.

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