Research reveals extent of retirement housing demand

Recent research from Knight Frank suggests that the current supply of retirement housing paired with the ageing population indicate a serious undersupply of age-appropriate homes.

In the UK there are currently 11.8 million people over the age of 65, a figure which is expected to grow by around 20% over the next ten years.

However, recent figures show that stock levels of property to suit this demographic – including housing with care and over 55s housing – totals just 725,000 homes. This is equivalent to only 2.6% of the UK’s total housing stock.

The research from Knight Frank revealed that a quarter of those aged over 55 would consider moving into retirement accommodation of some sort or downsizing. Applying this proportion to those aged over 65, the demand grows by a further 582,283 people.

Commenting on the research was Tom Scaife. The head of retirement housing at Knight Frank stated: “The forecast growth in the UK’s older population, coupled with a need for housing that can free up family homes and help alleviate the stress on the NHS and social services, means that the case for retirement housing delivered at scale has never been stronger.

“In its basic form, retirement housing can help reduce loneliness, is a safer environment in a community setting and reduces visits to hospital. The scenario of falling down the stairs at home, commencing a cycle of increased frequency and finally, the need to go into a care home could be negated.

“With increased awareness of the benefits of retirement housing, clarity at the planning stage, and some much needed incentives, retirement housing can be delivered at scale and help to tackle the social care and housing crisis in one go.”

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