Brisbane-based Metacap will build a $300 million lifestyle community in regional South Australia to cater to the state’s ageing population, doubling the value of the developer’s active project portfolio.
The lifestyle community in the coastal town of Port Hughes will build 460 homes over 15 years as part of a “build-and-hold” approach. Construction of the first 30 of those homes will commence in the next six months, with the developer planning to build about 30 more homes annually.
The untouched Port Hughes land is set to be transformed into an aged community. 
South Australia has the highest proportion of older people on mainland Australia, with more than 630,500 people aged over 50, accounting for 37 per cent of that age cohort nationally.
Metacap chief executive Nick Jiminez said South Australia’s ageing population and construction challenges in an area such as Port Hughes on the Yorke Peninsula led to the company opting for a strategy of owning the residential assets, operating and managing them, rather than selling to individual buyers.
“It’s a slower development structure, but we found that more viable in these regional areas, which means it’s just accessing land that’s big enough for a price that’s much more economical than the major cities,” Mr Jiminez said.
“You typically pay five to 10 times more or even greater for a property of this size that we have in South Australia if it was close to Brisbane or close to Sydney.”
Metacap bought the land in Port Hughes two years ago, paying $3 million for 170 hectares.
Mr Jiminez also said that building at a slower pace meant that his company would be less affected by the low-points in the construction cycle, as well provide more time for the remote Yorke Peninsula area to grow.
When fully completed, the Port Hughes community will also have retail stores, restaurants, tourist accommodation facilities, a boutique hotel and parklands – any of which Metacap could tap other developers to deliver, Mr Jiminez said.
The community will also offer caravan and boat storage areas, an aged-care facility and medical facility.
The developer, which specialises in communities for an ageing demographic, has also started building two new lifestyle villages in the Queensland coastal towns of Hervey Bay and Agnes Water.
The combined cost of the two will be $280 million. The two sites will provide a combined 350 lots, with about 30 homes due to be completed across both by October.
Metacap also has aged communities in Ballina in northern NSW, and Burpengary and Yandina in Queensland.
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