An increase in the number of people wanting to downsize in Perth has been highlighted as clear evidence that more needs to be done to help older Australians to move out of their homes and boost the delivery of more medium and high density housing across the City.

The latest data from released today at an Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA WA) industry event, has identified 190,000 potential downsizers in Western Australia, an increase of 14% since 2021.

“We are seeing a large increase in people wanting to downsize in Western Australia, but there are several barriers in place before they can realise that dream,” says economist Michael Blythe.

“The top barriers to people moving, that have been identified by our research, is that people over 60 want to age in place and have a perception that new dwellings are too expensive,” Mr Blythe said.

“Access to cash to fund the move is also an issue, because for many older Australians their equity is tied up in their house.  They are asset rich but cash poor,” says Mr Blythe. aims to help make this transition easier for homeowners by allowing them to use a deposit bond instead of cash with the pre-approval process often completed in a matter of hours.

Supply issues are also identified in the Downsizer report, with many older people living in homes that are simply too big for their needs.

“There are limited opportunities to find an appropriate place to downsize into, in the midst of Perth’s housing supply crisis,” Mr Blythe said.

UDIA WA reinforces that the lack of choices available for downsizers across Perth is a major issue.

“We need to be delivering more affordable housing options in many of the areas that downsizers would like to move,” UDIA WA Executive Director – Strategy & Policy Sarah Macaulay said.

“The development industry needs to be supported in order to deliver more medium and high density housing to the market, so that we can meet the needs of downsizers in a range of areas across Perth,” Ms Macaulay said.

To that end, UDIA WA welcomed the WA State Government’s announcement on Tuesday, extending the transfer duty concessions available for new apartment purchases to include those under construction.

“By expanding the off the plan transfer duty concession to include apartments that are already under construction, it widens the eligibility criteria and allows more buyers to access the concession,” Ms Macaulay said.

“If, through this expanded scheme, developers can attract more buyers to the projects they already have under construction, they can then use that capital to move onto their next project and get that moving,” Ms Macaulay said.

“We desperately need that to happen so that we get more apartment projects delivered to the market across Perth,” Ms Macaulay said.

“Moving forward, we would still like to see a comprehensive review of the cost of regulation, taxation and lengthy approvals processes on the delivery of apartments to the market in particular,” Ms Macaulay said.

While increasing supply is critical, Mr Blythe also highlights that downsizers are ultimately motivated by financial incentives, and cashing in the existing equity in their homes can give them the motivation they need.

“Many see downsizing as a way to free up equity and take advantage of the government’s attractive superannuation concessions for downsizers.  The resulting income boost means they can better enjoy their retirement or even help their children buy property,” he says.

“66% of potential downsizers say they intend to do so over the next 2 years with the expected average equity release for potential downsizers across WA of $390,000.”

By 2061 it’s estimated 19.5% of WA’s population will be over the age of 65.

Perth’s Top 5 Downsizing Hot Spots

Geographical Area Downsizer Index Score
South-West 2.6
North East 1.3
North-West -0.7
Inner -1.8
South-East -2.8

The findings are being presented at the UDIA’s WA Industry Breakfast on Wednesday 11th October 2023 with property industry heavyweights gathering to hear insights into the local downsizer market.

The local panel will unpack the Downsizer analysis and discuss what this means for developing housing solutions for downsizers in WA.

The panel will also discuss –

–       Average equity release across Australia and WA

–       Downsizer intentions in WA

–       Population and demographic trends

–       Buyer preferences and behaviour

–       Incentivising downsizing

About is an award-winning startup venture helping the finance, property and insurance industries to deliver innovative digital solutions to the downsizer generation, so they can make that all-important home transition with ease and confidence and enjoy life’s next phase with an improved lifestyle and better finances. is the market-facing brand of Block Builder Pty Ltd.


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