UK senior living shortfall is more than 600,000 units, says new report

UK: A new report from CBRE says investment into mid-market senior living development is needed to address the shortage of facilities across the UK.

The survey analysed responses from more than 2,000 UK residents aged 55 and over, and found that 62 per cent of respondents are open to moving into a senior living scheme in the future.

Nearly a quarter – 24 per cent – of respondents are considering a move in the next five years, with demand highest in Edinburgh, Birmingham, London and Southampton, all cities where supply is “notably constrained”. The research found that more than 69,000 units would be needed across these cities alone to address the supply gap.

CBRE estimates that there is an undersupply of 614,000 senior living units across the UK.

“Historically, senior living schemes have targeted prospective residents who live in more affluent areas of the UK due to the high costs of land and construction,” noted Alice Marwick, head of operational real estate research at CBRE. “On a national scale, the majority of housing wealth distribution falls into the £250- £500k value segment, meaning there is a large cohort that would benefit from senior living schemes if there was a more affordable option.”

The report also found that 63 per cent of respondents in the 75+ bracket have yet to downsize since retirement, highlighting a potential cohort for senior living schemes. Respondents across a number of cities said they would consider renting in a senior living scheme to free up equity from the sale of their house.

Andrew Surgenor, senior director, operational real estate at CBRE, added: “As a member of the Government’s Older People’s Housing Taskforce, it’s evident that there is a need to amplify the choice and quality of housing available to this cohort of the population. Developers can address this with increased tenures, including rental and affordable tenure, unlocking potential for a more diverse, accessible offering.”

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