Sydney’s housing affordability could be improved if retirees and elderly people were presented with housing options that make downsizing more attractive.

The head of real estate agency Raine & Horne believes the recently formed Greater Sydney Commission, which has been tasked with overseeing the delivery of new housing, infrastructure and services across metropolitan Sydney, should take steps to ensure more elderly appropriate housing stock is built.

Raine & Horne executive chairman Angus Raine claims the majority of apartment projects in Sydney are unsuitable for the elderly and unlikely to encourage them to move out of oversized family homes.  

“There’s been plenty of news about the massive growth in apartment developments across Sydney, but the majority of this stock is not suitable for retirees,” Raine said.

“Sydney requires more medium density housing and villas, where land prices make this a feasible alternative for developers,” he said.

Raine also believes the more should be done to encourage Sydney based downsizers to look further afield.

“I also urge the State Government to do more to promote the benefits of downsizing to a bigger population centre such as Newcastle, Bathurst, Wagga, Tamworth, Dubbo and Orange,” he said.

“These centres offer all the amenities and facilities that retirees have come to expect in the city, yet real estate prices are significantly more affordable.”

While not specifically talking about retirees, better promoting regional areas as attractive places to live has been touted by economists and analysts in recent weeks as a viable way to improve affordability in cities such as Sydney.