Feature image: Crown Residences at One Barangaroo, Sydney

Owning an expansive house with a white picket fence and garden with stretching green lawns is no longer the Australian dream retirees and families want to chase. Instead, experts have revealed homeowners are rightsizing, or downsizing, for the perfect lifestyle.

Knight Frank’s ‘Rightsizing – Australian Prime Residential Insight 2020’ report shows a large swing towards downsizing lifestyle trends as people look to swap their large homes for luxury apartments.

As a way to limit upkeep costs, the property experts have seen clients seek a new active retiree lifestyle that is simple and in a prime location, has house-like proportions and offers a sense of luxury to meet their desires.

While retirees are the main rightsizing buyers of prime apartments (which offer additional security when travelling because of the lock-up-and-leave feature), entrepreneurs and families are also attracted to the modern concept.

“Perhaps surprisingly, rightsizing also appeals to the younger generations, and we are seeing this at a much earlier stage than in previous years given the agile, transient and global nature of their work and play,” says Knight Frank Head of Residential Research Australia Michelle Ciesielski. “For active retirees, many buyers tell us their house is no longer required to provide the lifestyle they want.

“Often the cost to upkeep the home, pool and garden outweighs the surplus space they once desired.

“Downsizing the living areas is not part of this movement – the yard most certainly – but the new luxury apartment must be the right size with amenities to match.”

While the report states that the rightsizer prime luxury market will see a positive rise in clever residential spaces, agile collaborative zones and sustainable living, it will also likely see an increase in prices in the coming years due to increased demand from international buyers and an undersupply of dwellings.

The share of three-bedroom luxury apartments being built over the next three years falls for Sydney medium-density projects (to 44%), Sydney high-density projects (to 14%) and Melbourne high-density (to 21%), the study found.

Luxury living at the right size

One of the most opulent Australian offerings of rightsizing property is Crown Residences at One Barangaroo.

The incredible property, which will also be home to the tallest hotel in Sydney – Crown Sydney – sets a new standard of luxury living.

With interiors by world-renowned designer firm Meyer Davis and exteriors by London-based architecture firm WilkinsonEyre, the glamorous hotel specialises in state-of-the-art design and leading amenities, including its iconic spa, two infinity's-edge swimming pools, tennis court and 15 fine dining restaurants and bars.

While hotel guests can get a taste for true luxury when the property opens in 2021, residences of One Barangaroo have it all at their disposal.

“Buyers of Crown Residences at One Barangaroo, which is arguably Australia’s most prestigious rightsizing opportunity, are looking to move away from large houses into a home that provides a high-quality standard of spacious living, while reducing the maintenance costs,” says Knight Frank Partner Crown Residences at One Barangaroo Erin van Tuil. “Crown Residences at One Barangaroo offers that exactly, but an added appeal for our buyers is a level of serviced living that is unmatched anywhere else in Australia, testament to the residences being the most prestigious homes to ever list on the Australian market.

“Those who have already invested come from all walks of life,” says Erin. “There are entrepreneurs seeking a city home to come and go as they please, families who imagine a home to cater for all ages and assist with the cleaning, linen and a fully stocked fridge, as well as retirees who seek no more than to thoroughly enjoy their later years in life, without the worry of maintaining a large house.”

Who is rightsizing and what are they looking for?

Entrepreneurs

Profile: Age 25 years and older, singles and couples, city living
Requirements: 3 bedrooms, 2 car spaces, entertaining area and technology
Wealth source: Media and technology, self-made, next generation of inherited wealth, sports and entertainment

Families

Profile: Age 40 years and older, couples with or without dependent children, city and urban living
Requirements: 4 bedrooms, 2 car spaces, multiple living areas, close to school or work
Wealth source: Business and finance, property and share portfolio, returned expatriate, wealthy international family living in Australia

Active retired

Profile: Age 55 years and older, singles and couples, city and urban living
Requirements: 3 bedrooms, 2 car spaces, single level with outdoor living, ample storage, pet friendly
Wealth source: Business and finance, successful self-made multimillionaire, property portfolio, built on inherited wealth