Current housing policy across the UK is too focused on making sure first-time buyers have access to housing, with the government turning its back on the retired demographic, according to a new report released this week.
Property consultancy Knight Frank said that while most people would agree that there is a need for more to be done to provide enough homes for people across the UK, there is not enough being done to take into consideration different age groups and their needs with house building policies.
Knight Frank said that at present there are around 715,000 homes across the UK which are classed as being exclusively for the older age groups, be it through developments which are restricted to those of a certain age or dedicated care homes. But these represent just 2.6 per cent of housing across the country, and there are simply not enough to meet demand from older people.
“While much attention is quite rightly paid to the housing shortage for first time buyers trying to climb onto the property ladder there is a less headline grabbing trend which is just as notable in the market, the shortage of homes specifically designed for older people,” said the Knight Frank report.
Gap in the market
The report shows that there may be a gap in the market for the private sector to start constructing more homes specifically designed with older people in mind. These types of home are usually built in a way that allows older people to live independently, but with help not too far away and common areas nearby where they can mix with others from the community.
Knight Frank said that in a survey it found as many as 25 per cent of over-55s said they would consider moving to purpose-built retirement accommodation at some point, which means that in the future there is a potential demand for as many as two million homes.
This shows that there is definitely a gap in the market when it comes to retirement property, and it’s one that the private sector may well move to fill in years to come.