Media Release | 28th September, 2021Regional house price rises help retirees

Many regional areas have experienced 20%+ property growth rates just as houses in metropolitan cities have.

Popular regional areas record price growth exceeding 20% over 2020-2021
Ballina (NSW) Byron (NSW) Bega Valley (NSW)
Benalla (VIC) Colac/Otway (VIC) Burdekin (Qld)
Gympie (Qld) Broome (WA) Denmark (WA)


Higher house prices enable retirees to boost their income in retirement under the government’s Pension Loans Scheme (PLS) avoiding the need to downsize.

“The recent surge in regional property growth benefits those already living there, particularly seniors. Research shows seniors are less willing to downsize and move to a new area due to the dislocation it creates and emotional upheaval that results from moving away from friends, networks, and the communities they are familiar with.

“With the PLS, seniors can boost their income in retirement by releasing some of the equity they have in their home (or other property) by up to 150% of the full age pension rate,” said Paul Rogan, Pension Boost Founder.

To be eligible for the PLS, seniors need to be at least age pension age, or one if a couple, meet the age pension residency requirements and own title to any form of real estate property anywhere in Australia. Importantly, this includes self-funded retirees who do not receive any age pension.

Pension Boost has supported many clients living in regional and rural areas to successfully access the PLS. One of the reasons for this is that commercial providers of reverse mortgages (and other forms of equity release) are restricted under their lending policies from lending in regional and rural areas or for non-standard forms of housing (e.g. farms, vacant blocks, large properties, etc). In contrast, the PLS operates across the whole of Australia and any form of real estate is eligible security so long as you own the title and have sufficient equity in it (note: this excludes many retirement village ownership structures).

Case study – Barry and Helen

The recent spike in regional areas enables seniors to tap into this growth to help them fund their golden years. By way of example, let’s take the situation of Barry and Helen, a full age pension couple aged 72 years of age living in Colac, Victoria where the average house price is now $527,000 and has appreciated from $419,000 a year ago (up 28%) and $315,000 five years ago (up 67%). Barry and Helen would like to access the PLS to assist them enjoy a better quality of life than living on just the age pension alone affords them.

Whilst they could access up to $718 per fortnight ($18,670 per year) they decide that $500 per fortnight ($13,000 per year) would be adequate for their needs. Pension Boost modelling forecasts* they could access this amount, linked to inflation, for up to 24 years and after 20 years when they are 92, they are projected to have 45% (or $431,000) net equity remaining in their home.

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* Projection assumptions: Property price growth of 3% pa; PLS interest rate of 4.50% pa; CPI of 2% pa, starting home value of $527,00; drawing $500 per fortnight (inflation linked) and spending all of the funds drawn.