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NZ Retirement Villages Seen As Safe Havens During The Covid Pandemic

The New Zealand retirement village sector's ability to demonstrate that it can protect its residents from Covid-19, coupled to the Government's decision to go early and go hard, is paying significant dividends for the industry with a strong level of enquires since the end of lockdown, according to the Senior Trust Retirement Village Income Generator Limited.

Executive Director, John Jackson, said today that despite some concerns around how the retirement village sector would weather Covid-19, the local industry is proving a haven for senior New Zealanders worried about protecting their health, social isolation and security.

“Retirement villages have done a great job in protecting residents in these challenging times,” Jackson said. "However, the next six months will provide greater clarity when it comes to whether there will be a slowing of sales rates due to the potential for reduced activity in the residential property market.

"There may be no increase in values over the next one or two years, although the longer-term positive view on the sector remains unchanged. The industry is well regulated and populated by operators who are acutely conscious that they are in the care industry and that they need a holistic approach to the needs of their residents.”

However, confidence remains strong.

"It is this confidence in the retirement sector, coupled to a low yield environment in so many other sectors, that prompted the launch of a further investment offer from Senior Trust Management Limited, the Senior Trust Retirement Village Income Generator (Income Generator). The offer is aimed at meeting the ever-increasing demand from depositors who want a fair return to support their lifestyles."

Jackson said that in the event of a slowing of sales in the residential market due to Covid-19, the retirement village sector will effectively manage risk by expanding their village in response to demand and modulating the building programme in response to forward sales -- a case of sell some and then build some more.

"We believe that the premium retirement villages that the Income Generator lends to are providing superior homes and environments to an increasingly discerning segment of retiring New Zealanders -- those that want something better than the average – past experience suggests that this top end of the market will continue to perform well.”

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