The research predicts that increasing institutional investment into the sector will result in a rise in the number of specialist senior living units in the UK, including retirement housing, age-restricted market housing designed with the downsizer in mind, and housing with care, which provides services, care and support as part of their offer.
Knight Frank forecasts a 48 per cent growth in housing with care – increasing the total number of units to around 45,000. Retirement housing is expected to rise by five per cent over the same period, to around 29,000 units.
“There are a number of clear trends emerging in the senior living space, driven primarily by demand from residents. Schemes in urban locations – such as Audley’s new Nightingale Place in Clapham – are becoming increasingly popular as more people seek a lifestyle-led offerings,” said Tom Scaife, head of senior living at Knight Frank. “Developments of mixed tenure are also becoming more widespread, as people discover the flexibility that comes from renting instead of buying in their later years.”
Growth in senior living housing stock is forecast to be outstripped by the ageing population, however, with one in four people expected to be over 65 by 2037. As a result, the number of senior housing units per 1,000 people over 75 is expected to fall to 120 by 2024 - down from 137 in 2010 and 129 in 2020, representing an overall 12.4 per cent decline over 15 years.
Lauren Harwood, head of senior living research at Knight Frank, added: “Currently, the forecast suggests that the projected delivery of seniors housing seems will not keep pace with our growing ageing population. A step change in new delivery is required if the UK is to reverse the huge imbalance between need and supply, which is only set to increase as people continue to live longer and more of the population enters the 65+ age bracket.”
Click here to listen to an Urban Living podcast with Honor Barratt of Birchgrove, discussing the UK's senior living sector.