Amid a European debt crisis the NZ retirement sector has not noticed any signs of a slow down with NZX listed retirement village operators posting strong unit sales numbers.

On Friday Summerset Group, which listed in November last year, posted unit sales figures on track to beat financial year 2012 prospectus forecasts.  The Company sold 83 new village units which is up double on the previous year and is 62% of IPO forecast of 134 new unit sales for the 2012 full year.  Sales of existing units were also strong coming in at 88 units which is up 52% on 2011 and is 71% of the IPO forecast for 2012.

In May New Zealand’s largest retirement village operator Ryman Healthcare posted unit sales ahead of guidance and market expectations.  The Company sold 780 new and existing units which is up 12% on the 699 sold in the previous year.  More importantly management upgraded the build rate from 550 units per annum to 700 due to strong demand for village units.

Year to date the Summerset share price is up 30% while Ryman Healthcare is up 32%.

The strong performance of the NZ retirement sector is a good example of how great opportunities exist, even in weak economic environments.  A wave of baby boomers reaching retirement age and reasonably strong house price growth has supported strong growth in this industry.

William Curtayne