The growing development and investment opportunities for retirement property are ‘clear’, says Octopus Real Estate

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According to the latest research from Octopus Real Estate, it is estimated that there could be up to 2.5 million UK retirees who want retirement homes that could offer significant opportunities for developers, operators and investors.

The report “Unlocking Retirement in a Post-Pandemic World” found that 27.3% of those over 65 and 43% of those aged 55 to 59 would definitely or perhaps consider moving to a retirement community once they understood what it was she offers.

Only 12% of those who said they did not consider a retirement community were because they did not understand or did not trust the fees.

“We know that for most senior communities this won’t be the answer – but to meet growing demand from those interested, more communities need to be built,” said Kevin Beirne, director and head of retirement planning at Octopus Real Estate.

“It will also free up more single family homes and help solve the UK housing crisis.

“There is an opportunity to create desirable housing that retirees want, and there is currently insufficient supply to meet this unused demand.

“The opportunity in the UK for community operators, developers and institutional investors to come together to create more choice for retirees is clear and in this way we can do our part help to rebuild better. “

According to the report, the global pandemic was a catalyst for people reassessing their living conditions, and national lockdowns have highlighted the benefits that retirement communities offer.

Other important findings are:

  • around 37% of those over 55 are shielded in lockdown
  • About 47% of those 55 and over felt lonely or isolated during national lockdowns
  • Around 28% found house maintenance stressful, while 55% said they could keep up with it.

The research highlighted the need for education about the offers of senior citizens’ communities, as many of the respondents did not know this.

About 79% had not thought of living in a senior community, and 33% could not see what a senior community was.

However, when they realized what life was like in a senior citizen community, their perception changed and they said they would consider moving to one.

“The pension industry needs to work together to raise awareness while addressing the current misconceptions about the sector,” added Kevin.

“It is telling that 21% of respondents believed that a senior citizen community was similar to a nursing home; the knowledge gap is huge and has to be bridged. “

In terms of what retirees are looking for in a retirement home, respondents wanted it to support their lifestyle with facilities such as restaurants (53%), cafes (50%), social areas (45%), and activities and clubs such as exercise classes ( 43%) and swimming (42%).

The most important aspects of retirement planning for homeowners over 55 are freedom to travel (64%), relaxation (61%) and time with family (60%).

For retirees, safety and security (49%), an easy-care home (42%), proximity to the city center or to facilities (40%), space for family and friends to stay overnight (35) are the top priorities%) and technology-enabled (25%) ) be.

The report estimates that by 2069 there will be 7.5 million UK residents aged 65 and over and currently fewer than 1% of UK retirees are in retirement communities.

Nick Sanderson, Chairman of ARCO and CEO of Audley Group, commented, “This important research comes at a perfect time as the nation emerges from lockdown and we readjust our lives after a year of surviving the pandemic .

“The real benefits of living in a senior community are the freedom and protection that having your own front door brings, but with the added benefit of being supported by the team of dedicated staff and the community itself.”

Phil Schmid, Senior Director at CBRE added, “The research shows that the ultimate demand for retirees looking for an alternative to enjoy their retirement and later life is when we develop attractive communities.

“Crucially, living in a senior community can delay the need for more formal care and enable a retiree to realize their dream of retiring as the best years of their life.”

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