Metlifecare buys waterfront land in Auckland's Hobsonville

Metlifecare anticipates the new village will have 300 living and care units.

Metlifecare plans to spend $240 million developing a new retirement village in Auckland's Hobsonville with the acquisition of waterfront land in the city's northwestern suburb.

Auckland-based Metlifecare anticipates the new village will have 300 living and care units, and said the conditions attached to the deal, which includes resource consent, will probably be met in the third quarter of next year. The new village would take Metlifecare's portfolio to 28, and covers an area of Auckland that's "significantly underserved" by the sector, it said.

"Hobsonville Point has become a very desirable neighbourhood due to its accessibility, amenity and the quality of life that it offers its residents who can combine urban living with a waters-edge location," chief executive Glen Sowry said in a statement. "Our projections show that, with the 75+ age demographic predicted to treble in size over the next 20 years, there will be strong and on-going demand."

The retirement village operator and developer says it's on track to deliver more than 250 retirement units and care beds in the year ending June 30, 2018, joining the sector on a major construction drive in anticipation of an ageing population in need of supported housing.

In August, the company reported a 10 percent increase in annual profit to $251.5 million citing gains on the resale of units and widening development margins. At the time, Sowry said he hadn't seen any impact of a slowing housing market, which feeds into demand for retirement units when people cash up and move into a village.

The shares last traded at $6.03 and have increased 8.7 percent this year, lagging behind an 18 percent gain on the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index over the same period.

(BusinessDesk)