New Zealand's retirement villages population grew from 43,000 to 45,000 in the last year, an extra 11,900 new units are planned and the fastest-expanding listed owner/operator is Summerset Group.
The JLL NZ retirement villages and aged-care whitepaper was written by JLL senior research analyst Lisa Chen and came out this week.
"JLL's NZ retirement village database captures over 400 villages, comprising almost 35,000 units, providing accommodation to an estimated 45,000 residents, equivalent to the total population of the city of Hastings," the document said.
Existing villages are growing or being redeveloped and new villages are rising.
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Summerset Group has the biggest development pipeline after buying seven sites last year. It plans new 4726 new units.
Ryman Healthcare is second busiest planning 2816 units, Arvida Group plans 1484 units, Metlifecare plans 1348 units, Oceania Healthcare 1119 units and Bupa NZ 448 units. Around 70 per cent of Summerset, Ryman and Metlifecare plans are for new villages but 90 per cent of Oceania and Arvida's plans are to expand existing villages.
Bupa is split more evenly between new villages and expansion of existing villages, JLL found.
Of the 11,941 new units planned by the big six operators, 6027 units or half are in the golden triangle between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga.
"Many of the major operators have openly been targeting this area for land banking and village development for a number of years, matching the forecast elderly population growth in this area," the document said.
Those "big six" have 25 and 34 villages each, 42 per cent of the national total by village number, operate larger than average villages and own just under 60 per cent of units.
The key target population for operators is Kiwis aged 75+ and in 2019 there were estimated to be almost 325,000 residents in this group. By 2043, that population will have expanded by 460,000 to reach 784,000 people aged 75+.
Auckland has the majority of retirement villages, with its 94 villages accounting for 23 per cent of national village numbers. It also has the largest average village size of 126 units per village, much larger than the national average of 86 units a village.
Canterbury has the second-largest concentration of villages with 71 such places or 18 per cent of the national total. But villages there are much smaller, at an average 62 units per village.
"We expect that there will be demand for an estimated 17,788 new units by 2028. From our database we can identify that development has commenced on 7576 units across the country. Therefore, this means that there would be a total requirement of a further 10,200 units to meet the forecast demand to 2028," JLL said.
Covid-19 is introduced new challenges to the sector. But initial feedback from operators was that villages have provided a protective community for residents during lockdown, the document said.
JLL noted short-term changes, including the need for more personal protective equipment and longer-term changes like the impact the pandemic had on house prices.
Not all villages have hospitals. Of the 403 villages on the JLL database, 265 villages or 66 per cent have a rest home or hospital.
An estimated 18,570 aged care beds nationally are in retirement villages. That is about 49 per cent of the total aged care industry's bed count, the document noted.