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Chronic shortage of retirement housing at crisis point according to new research

Provision for 14.3 million over 65s is ‘missing without action,’ says JLL.

London, 05 November 2015 – A chronic shortage of high quality retirement housing is reaching crisis point in the UK, according to new research conducted by global property firm JLL.

By 2025 JLL estimates 725,000 housing-with-care units (24 hour assisted care) are desperately needed to meet demand from the ageing Baby Boomer generation. Many of these retirees want to live in specialised housing, and they have the cash to afford it with over 65s currently holding £800 billion in housing equity.

The undersupply is mainly in the mid and high end areas of the market while the affordable markets have 10 times the units per person in comparison.

Antony Oldfield - Director, Healthcare at JLL said: “There are two main retirement housing options in the UK, Housing with Support and Housing with Care. The former became popular in the 1980s, whilst the latter is now the fastest growing part of retirement housing and better suited to the long-term care needs of retirees. This generation has benefited from unprecedented house price growth. To put it in context, if they bought their house in 1970, it has now risen in value by 4,300%. If applied the equivalent value of growth in to a loaf of bread, which in 1970 cost 9p today would cost almost £4. So, not only do they have the spending power they also desire high quality housing options making the need for investment stronger.”

The report, Retirement Living – Where is the Opportunity? highlights that the vast majority over 65s are not frail enough to require a care home but many will need more support than conventional housing - this group will hit 3 million by 2025. Meanwhile, 2.6 million homes would return to the private housing market if building retirement accommodation for this group becomes a priority.

Recognising this shortfall the Government has put housing at the heart of its Care Act 2015. The Act will force Local Authorities to encourage a variety of different types of services to shape the market, not just at the lower end which has been their focus historically. The RICS estimate that by providing viable, alternative residential accommodation for older households such as Housing with Care, 2.6 million houses could be released into the mainstream housing market. 

 JLL_Retirement Living Report_.pdf