Summerset buys land for third retirement village in Christchurch

Summerset plans to develop more then 240 homes at Avonhead.

Summerset Group, New Zealand's best-performing retirement village stock in the past 12 months, has bought land for a third retirement village in Christchurch, bringing its greenfield sites to seven across the country.

Wellington-based Summerset said it had bought 9.5 hectares in Hawthornden Road in the Christchurch suburb of Avonhead, close to the Russley Golf Course and other recreation areas. That will add to its Wigram village whose final villas are expected to be complete next year, and its Casebrook village which is currently under construction, the company said in a statement.

New Zealand retirement village operators are acquiring land and preparing for a record building spree in anticipation of increased demand as people born in the country's post-war era reach the target age for operators. Summerset said today that Christchurch city's population aged over 75 is expected to grow from about 26,300 to 32,000 by 2023.

"We are thrilled to be able to secure this land to provide our third high-quality retirement village and care services to the people of Christchurch," said Summerset chief executive Julian Cook. "We expect the Avonhead village will be a popular location for many Canterbury retirees to make their homes."

Summerset has 21 villages across New Zealand. It plans to develop more then 240 homes at Avonhead, including two and three bedroom villas, apartments, and serviced apartments, and will offer rest home and hospital care as well as a memory care centre for dementia patients.

The company didn't disclose the purchase price.

Summerset shares last traded at $4.92 and have gained 5.1 percent in the past 12 months, outpacing Metlifecare's 1.7 percent gain and Ryman Healthcare's 5.6 percent decline.