UK Senior Living Housing Crisis Revealed
New analysis of the housing sector in the UK has revealed that there is a serious shortfall of senior living accommodation around the country, with more than 487,000 units required to look after an ageing population.
Carried out by BNP Paribas Real Estate, the study found that there are 3,245 communities that must be constructed in order to make up for the dearth in supply, based on a 150 unit allocation per senior living scheme. And this doesn’t consider the projected 31 per cent growth in the over-65s in line with life expectancy increases over the coming 15 years.
Furthermore, figures from the Associated Retirement Community Operators show that just 0.6 per cent of those over the age of 65 currently have the option to live in an integrated retirement community, compared to between five and six per cent in the US, New Zealand and Australia.
Commenting on the findings, Sam Rowland – head of healthcare and senior living at BNP Paribas Real Estate – said: “The lack of supply of homes across the UK is a cause for alarm.
“We live in an ageing population and in ‘generation rent’, and with greater perception and awareness investment should increase and thus help to support and combat the crisis as rental becomes a more viable option for those who wish to downsize and have the available capital and/or can lease their existing property out in favour of this sector.
“[This] can put often-underutilised family housing stock back into the market, improving availability for those in earlier stages in life.”
A recent report from the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation suggested that the answer to the UK’s housing crisis is addressing the issue of family home under-occupation, where there are over 15 million unused bedrooms.
This is concentrated among older people, who typically live alone or in couples. As such, encouraging people to downsize could make a significant difference to the situation, although this is tricky because of the lack of age-appropriate housing for those above a certain age.
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