Skip to main content Skip to footer

The living sector news round-up | 08 February 2024


A curation of news highlights from the living sector, including build-to-rent, co-living, purpose-built student accommodation, aged care, and other specialised residential assets.

After publishing round-ups of news with a strong focus on build-to-rent for the past few years, we are back in 2024 with a round-up of news covering the wider living sector from locally in New Zealand, close by in Australia, and from the rest of the globe.

Our new format will be published fortnightly, straight to your inbox, and takes the hard work out of keeping up with the latest news from the sector. 



Market insights

  • Australia: MSCI has reported the commercial residential sector (comprising build-to-rent and purpose-built student accommodation) recorded a record year in 2023 with deal activity up 77% to just under $3B (AUD) Build-to-rent contributed $2.2B of that total. Full article here.

  • Australia: Build-to-rent and purpose-built student accommodation assets accounted for four of the top 10 transactions in Australia in 2023. This included the biggest deal of the year, the $1.8B Mirvac build-to-rent venture and the Melbourne Quarter deal between Lendlease and Daiwa house (at number four). Full article here.


  • New Zealand – Auckland: Simplicity Living has announced plans for a sixth build-to-rent development scheme, this time in Auckland’s Morningside. The Morningside scheme will offer 256 apartments on a 6,560 sqm site close to the Morningside train station. Construction is planned for next year with completion due in late 2027. Full article here.

  • Australia – Brisbane: Developer Keylin has received approval for a mixed build-to-rent, short-stay, and build-to-sell residential development in Indooroopilly, Brisbane. The scheme includes 478 apartments across four buildings of which 388 will be build-to-rent. The 46 build-to-sell apartments will be in one of the four buildings. Full article here.

  • Australia – Brisbane: Brookfield has been given approval for its $400M debut into the Australian build-to-rent market at its Portside Wharf precinct on the riverfront. The development comprises two 23-storey towers with 560 units. Full article here.

  • Australia – Sydney: Research has shown that Mirvac’s LIV Indigo build-to-rent development in Sydney’s Olympic Park achieves a rental premium over comparable private market rental apartments. For one-bedroom apartments it is 19% and for two-bedroom apartments it is 27%. The research shows that a premium rent is possible, however notes that this is also determined by brand, services, and amenities offered. Full article here.

  • Australia – Sydney: Urban Property Group have added a third project to their $1B build-to-rent development pipeline. The 26-storey development in Sydney’s west would offer 108 build-to-rent apartments comprising 19 one-bedroom, 80 two-bedroom, and nine three-bedroom configurations. The announcement comes as the number of vacant and available rental properties in Sydney was 59% below the level pre-pandemic in November 2023. Full article here.

  • UK: Build-to-rent real estate investment, development, and management company Cortland has outlined ambitions to be a third-party operator in the UK’s build-to-rent sector. The company has been developing a resident-centric model specifically for investors and developers seeking a third-party operator. The models takes advantage of the company’s operational experience and pairs it with advanced investor reporting and strategic asset optimisation strategies. Full article here.

  • UK – London: Goldman Sachs and Tene Living have acquired three build to rent assets from Quintain Living in Wembley Park, London. The three assets total 261 units, with two built in 2016 being part of a part of a seven-block development called Emerald Gardens and a third built in 2017 and located nearby. The companies plan to refurbish the amenities and provide hands-on management to enhance the rental experience. Full article here.


  • Australia – Sydney: Developer Freecity lodged plans for two co-living developments in Sydney in January. The first development is a 505-unit, 19-storey tower at Macquarie Park near Macquarie University. The second is a 130-unit, eight-storey development in Rockdale which includes a management plan drawn up by co-living operator UniLodge. However, the selection of the operator has not been finalised. Full article here.

Purpose-built student accommodation

  • Australia – Melbourne: Plans have been lodged for a student accommodation development that would reuse an existing office block and double its height from 12 to 24-storeys in central Melbourne. The thin site currently offers around 6,300 sqm of lettable office space with the plans showing the new development would offer 409 studio, and 11 two-bedroom student residences. The development would also include 1,359 sqm of communal area. Full article here.

Aged care & retirement living

  • New Zealand: NZX-listed Summerset Group announced it has sold a record number of units in the 12-months to December 2023. The group sold 360 occupational rights agreements in the three-months to December, comprised of 186 new sales and 174 resales. The total units sold in the 12-month period was 1,107 units, up from 1,009 in the previous 12-month period. Full article here.

  • New Zealand – Auckland: The first building in the multi-stage retirement village development, The Foundation Village in Parnell has been completed. Nathan Residences comprises 46 luxury retirement units and is located adjacent to the Auckland Domain. Read the announcement here.

  • Australia: A survey from the Property Council of Australia has revealed that the retirement living industry continues to forecast strong confidence around capital value growth and construction activity in 2024. Construction in the sector is forecast to be at historically strong levels, and be greater than activity in the residential, office, retail, and industrial sectors combined. Full article here.


For information, advice, analytics, and investment opportunities within the living sector and specialised residential asset classes, get in touch with Colliers Strategic Advisory’s National Director, Alan McMahon, or Senior Analyst, Will Silk.


Related Experts

Alan McMahon

National Director | Strategic Advisory

Auckland CBD

Alan has overall responsibility for Strategic Advisory for Colliers International in New Zealand. 

He advises a wide range of public and private sector organizations. Clients include Auckland Council,, Massey University, Kiwi Property, Ngai Tahu Property, Ngati Whatua Orakei, Ngati Whatua o Kaipara, NZ Super, and various departments of the New Zealand government including Police, MBIE, Ministry of Justice, and Kainga Ora.




View expert

Chris Dibble

Director | Strategic Advisory

Auckland CBD

Chris Dibble is currently a Director of Strategic Advisory and has held a variety of leadership roles at Colliers over the past eight years.

With over 17 years of experience, Chris uses data-driven property insights and pragmatic advice to arm people with the necessary information to make the best possible decisions.

Chris is also a regular presenter at industry events, as well as frequently featuring in New Zealand’s media discussing the latest property market trends.


View expert

William Silk

Senior Analyst | Strategic Advisory

Auckland CBD

William joined the Colliers Strategic Advisory team  in 2019 and contributes to consulting and advisory assignments primarily through research based analysis and advisory.

William has worked with a wide range of public and private clients on a wide range of projects.

William’s recent work with the Strategic Advisory team has included feasibility studies, market analysis, typology and pricing analysis for residential projects, land development, build-to-rent developments and master-planned developments.

William also regularly carries out market data extraction, market value analysis and assists with property acquisition searches and strategies.

View expert