Metlifecare buys Botany site for new $140 million village

Metlifecare plans to deliver 229 units and care beds in the current financial year.

Metlifecare has bought a 2.4 hectare site in Auckland's Botany suburb which it plans to spend $140 million developing into a 160-unit retirement village.

The Auckland-based retirement village operator and developer has signed a conditional agreement to buy the site, which sits next to the Pakuranga Golf Club, and expects to settle the deal by July after certain third-party consents are obtained, Metlifecare said in a statement. The proposed village would take Metlifecare's tally to 27, adding a two-level development with about 160 units, including independent living units, serviced apartments and care.

"The site is in an area with ongoing growth and an excellent demographic profile," chief executive Glen Sowry said. "We have also considered the existence of a number of other retirement living options in the wider area, including two of our own villages, and our projections show that there is sufficient future demand to accommodate these offerings."

Metlifecare plans to deliver 229 units and care beds in the current financial year, rising to 233 in 2018. It delivered 97 beds and units in the six months ended Dec. 31, taking its total number of units to 4,122 and beds to 354 at the balance date. It has a further 1,260 units and 387 beds in its land bank.

The property market is a bellwether for incoming retirement village residents who want to sell their properties when prices are high before buying a unit, and Sowry has previously said he expects the property market to slow down, where prices rise at a more modest pace than in recent years.

Metlifecare shares last traded at $5.80 and have increased 4.5 percent so far this year.