Call to encourage retirees to live overseas

Retirees going overseas. | Newsreel
A plan to encourage retirees to live overseas and place their homes in the rental pool has been suggested. | Photo: Svitlana Hulko (iStock)

A proposal to incentivise retirees to live overseas and place their Australian homes into the rental pool is being floated as way to help ease the current housing crisis.

With a new report showing Queenslanders are feeling the greatest rental pain in the country, property research company Suburbtrends has suggested a “Rentirement” scheme.

Suburbtrends founder Kent Lardner said policies could be put in place to encourage Australians aged 67 to 77 to release their homes into the rental pool, offering them the opportunity to travel or retire overseas.

“Our data shows that over 137,000 homes could be released into the rental market if just 10 percent of the Rentirees cohort participated,” Mr Lardner said.

He said existing solutions were not progressing quickly enough to meet the demand.

“While increasing housing supply is essential, it simply won’t come fast enough to address the immediate needs of renters. We need creative, bold solutions to bridge the gap now.”

Mr Lardner said the Rentirement proposal offered a 5-year moratorium on the loss of the primary place of residence benefit, allowing Rentirees to live overseas without any penalty, including retaining their pension benefits.

“Southeast Asia, with its significantly lower cost of living, presents an ideal destination for these retirees.

“(The) concept is a win-win. Rentirees can enjoy a higher quality of life at a fraction of the cost, renters gain access to more housing, and the government can alleviate pressure on the housing market without significant expenditure,” Mr Lardner said.

He said the influx of rental properties would stabilise prices and reduce vacancy rates, providing much-needed relief to renters across the country.

The suggestion comes as the company released its June Rental Pain Index (RPI), which showed Queenslanders were under the most rental stress in the country.

The index takes into account a number of factors, including changes in rent prices, the scarcity of rental properties, vacancy rates, changes in these rates and the proportion of income dedicated to rent to produce an RPI score of between 1 and 100.

Mr Lardner said the data revealed the critical state of rental stress, with Queensland (83.48) and Western Australia (83.34) recording the most severe levels of rental pain.

“Eighty percent of their areas have high RPI scores exceeding 75. This situation reflects not only elevated rental costs, but also constricted market conditions with few housing options available for renters,” Mr Lardner said.

In Queensland, nine areas had an RPI of 100.

Access the full report on the Suburbtrends website.