Last-time buyers and retirement villages – new research

August 3, 2018

Retirement villages are an increasingly popular option for last-time buyers, according to new research from Inspired Villages Group and Legal & General. The last-time buyers research programme, delivered in conjunction with economics consultancy, Cebr, revealed:

  • 18% of last-time buyers said that they would be willing move to retirement housing or a retirement village in the future.
  • 45% of those who have considered moving to retirement housing or villages think it would offer them a lower-maintenance lifestyle.
  • 17% like the idea of community.
  • 13% cited security as a benefit.

More broadly, in terms of the biggest motivators to moving house, nearly a third (29%) said that their current property is no longer suitable, and 31% stated that their property is too big for them. Cebr forecasts that there could be over three million potential last-time buyers in Great Britain in 2018, of whom more than half a million would be open to moving to a retirement village at some stage, pointing to increasing demand for specialist solutions for retirement living.

Other findings include:

  • There is potential demand for around 16,500 new retirement home/village occupants in 2019 and 16,800 in 2020.
  • When people think about where to move when downsizing, 25% want to be near family and friends and 24% want to stay in the same area that they are currently in. When asked where they would look to move if there were to downsize, 49% said that they would stay within five miles of where they currently live – however, 25% said that distance from their current home wouldn’t be an issue when downsizing.
  • 45% of those surveyed wanted to live in a bungalow, and the majority of homeowners aged 55 or over said that, ideally, they would want a two-bedroom property (71% currently occupy a three- or four-bed property). 55% of men and 32% of women said that their partner has the largest influence on their current and future living arrangements.

Phil Bayliss, Head of Later Living at Legal & General said, 'This report demonstrates an extraordinary opportunity in the later living sector. With only 7,000 units being delivered each year, the disparity between the current supply and potential scale of demand is significant...The huge health benefits demonstrated through providing appropriate housing, such as a 50% reduction in GP visits and 40% reduction in NHS spend, means that increasing the number of properties available to these buyers is the most efficient way to help solve the UK’s housing crisis and spiralling NHS costs linked to our ageing population.'

Nick Sanderson, CEO of Audley Group said, 'This research highlights what we’ve known for some time: there is a huge demand for specialist retirement properties in the UK, and nowhere near enough supply. There are currently 9.9 million people over the age of 65 in England, a number that is forecast to rise by 20% over the next decade. Yet only 2% of the UK housing stock is designated as retirement housing. Retirement villages in particular offer the benefit of care provision, which takes pressure off our creaking NHS. ILC research has found that living in this type of accommodation has a significant impact on reducing the risk of social isolation amongst those that live there. It’s clear that more specialist retirement housing is needed, and the onus is now on government and providers to focus on this sector and give older people the aspirational properties that they are so clearly looking for.'

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