In Songjiang New City on the outskirts of Shanghai lies a high rise residential development. It is set against a lush landscape filled with resort-style water features, with public restaurants, shops, sports facilities and entertainment spots all within easy reach.

Welcome to Shen Yuan Garden, a high-end retirement village, built by a subsidiary of Taikang Life Insurance Company and aimed at wealthy and middle-class elderly Chinese.

Luxury retirement villages hardly raise an eyebrow in some parts of Asia Pacific, namely Australia. Among the country’s many high end offerings, one of its latest The Brougham boasts rooftop dining and chauffeured services. Meanwhile, more than 5 percent of New Zealand’s population aged over 65 live in luxury retirement villages.

The rest of Asia is likely to see more of these upmarket retirement villages as affluent Asian baby boomers plan for active ageing, notes Noeleen Goh, JLL director in Capital Markets, specializing in senior living. She cites China as a developing market to watch as “parents and children live great distances apart and there is a growing upper to middle class which can afford these facilities.”

For their part, Chinese baby boomers are increasingly open to these retirement villages. According to a study done last year on Chinese high net worth individuals (HNWIs), 28 percent of them indicated medium- to high-end elderly care homes as their personal post-retirement plan, a jump of 87 percent compared from 2015.

New players such as Singapore’s luxury resort group Banyan Tree Holdings are now entering the market. Earlier this year, it announced a partnership with Chinese real estate firm Vanke to develop senior-living and active ageing projects, tapping on Banyan Tree’s expertise in luxury and wellness.

Tropical appeal

Thailand and Malaysia are also wooing Asian retirees, and are turning their attention to premium retirement villages. Take the forthcoming GreenAcres development in Ipoh, a Malaysian city known for its abundant nature, fresh air and good food. Greenacres is billed as the first retirement village development in Peninsular Malaysiawith developers aiming to complete the first phase of the project – 26 villa units – this year.

In Thailand resort destinations such as Phuket, Koh Samui and Chiang Mai are offering a range of upmarket retirement homes and facilities, and developers are ramping up both the facilities and their marketing efforts as competition increases.

Thai property firm, Sunplay Bangsaray launched The Heights in Bangsaray last November, promoting it as first-of-its-kind upmarket active aging residence in the country. The development is close to golf courses, yacht club and medical facilities and there are facilities such as jogging and bike trails within the compound. Meanwhile Phuket’s luxurious MontAzure development along Kamala Beach prides its retirement and assisted-living village as being nestled amidst a beach club and nature reserves.


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