Stamp duty cuts disincentivise move into retirement village

“Stamp duty concessions are only effective if they target the right cohort of people,” RLC Executive Director Daniel Gannon said.

Mr Gannon said the number of people aged over 75 in the ACT will increase by 75 per cent from approximately 28,000 today to 48,000 in 2040.

“Like Australia, Canberra’s population is ageing and that means governments need to pull policy levers that accommodate for this demographic ‘silver tsunami’.

“While stamp duty relief is important for some homebuyers, it’s not incentivising older Canberrans to rightsize into a retirement community because buyers typically won’t pay stamp duty.

“We’d encourage the ACT Government to better understand how these communities operate, who and why people live in them, and the types of benefits and efficiencies that can be derived.

“Compared to people not living in these communities, residents are 41 per cent happier, 15 per cent more physically active, twice as likely to catch up with family and friends and they experience reduced levels of loneliness and depression.

“Retirement village residents are 20 per cent less likely to require hospitalisation after only nine months living in one of these communities, which leads to 14,000 avoided annual hospitalisations across Australia.

“As a consequence, age-friendly communities are minimising the interactions older Australians have with GPs and hospitals, while importantly delaying entry into taxpayer funded aged care.”

Mr Gannon said that the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s “Injury in Australia” report released earlier this week underscores the need for better housing that leads to better health outcomes.

“This report found that 296,490 people over the age of 65 presented to emergency departments with injuries across the country in FY23, with the highest likelihood of injury occurring after age 75.

“Falls were most common amongst those aged over 75, accounting for 46 per cent of reported falls leading to hospitalisations.

“Retirement villages are filled with better designed homes that minimise trips, falls and interactions with GPs and hospitals, which is why governments need more age-friendly supply.”

The RLC continues its calls for streamlined planning systems, minimum land allocations for retirement villages particularly in greenfield and master planned settings and targets similar to those already in place for social and affordable housing.

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