The retirement living sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in today’s economy as the number of people over the aged of 65 in the UK is expected to grow by 20% by 2027. With significant advances in healthcare allowing to manage conditions better, individuals are living longer; this naturally translates into the growing need for suitable housing.
In response to this growth, development driven by the private sector has meant investment in the retirement living market is at its highest level. This increased investment has led progression in living arrangements, assisted living, specialist living arrangements and retirement villages. But what makes a successful retirement living development?
The current market
There is no doubt that with a clear ageing population this is adding certain pressures on the UK property market but most notably social and health infrastructure throughout the county. It is widely accepted that with the predicted increase in population over the age of 65, providing retirement housing will be able to alleviate some of the pressure this may cause. While the potential of the retirement living sector grows, this evolution comes in line with the need for a greater amount of retirement properties across all modes of living and most importantly price points. There is no surprise that private development and investment can fill the gap left by policy decisions made by local and national authorities.
Understanding the needs of the development and local demographic
It is vital that the development is designed and completed to meet the needs of the local demographic and specialist requirements for certain living and care requirements. Understanding the local demographic in the completion of the development is key in ensuring that the needs of the local population are met (e.g. cost of living, health needs, assisted living). In short, if the development has been designed without the needs of this group in mind, the uptake of residents once completed will be significantly lower than designed. However, if a development has been designed to meet these needs it will be far more attractive and successful in the long run.
With the ability to build larger retirement living developments, a single property or a group of properties will be able to tend to the range of social and most importantly the economic needs of the local community.
Like residential property developments, it is critical that a reliable and safe source of building development finance is available to the developer to complete the project before a profit can be made. It is imperative that developers find a viable solution to support and meet the needs of the development not to only support the needs of society but ensure the viability of a project and secure a profit once completed.
Available funding provided by a reputable investor will provide the developer with protection, freedom and capacity in ensuring the correct purchasing of the site and cover charges throughout the construction of the development.
Size and flexibility
As demand for retirement living increases and the sector moves towards more of a care base model, developments will need to be larger to incorporate the increased demand on the sector. Even if a development has been designed to meet the specific needs of a certain group, who require specialist living services and facilities, larger developments will be able to accommodate this alongside a range of living options in that single development. Through increasing the size and ensuring the flexibility of a property or properties, this ensures a development will be able to accommodate and meet the varying needs of the local population in one place. Furthermore, this will also increase the cost-effectiveness of a property and its overall profit by accommodating a range of tenures.