A recent ARCO report highlighted that only 0.5% of the UK population live in a private retirement village highlights the huge potential for the nascent sector here in the UK when you look at the figures for other developed countries – see below.
USA figs – 5.6%
NZ – 5%
To suggest that this won’t happen in the UK is to suggest that MacDonalds wouldn’t work here for example or ‘Build to Rent ‘ will not work . We are far behind other countries for reasons below but we are starting slowly to catch up . The country’s demographics showing a seriously ageing population, with much equity, speaks volumes with over 18% of the UK population over 65. According to Knight Frank around 2 million people would consider moving into retirement housing in the future. Indeed it is predicted that 27% of the population will be over 60 in 10 years time.
We are seeing a big growth in dedicated retirement village developments in England and very small numbers in Scotland but it is a nascent sector. The major constraints to growth are market perception and Planning with no specific use class and finding suitable sites which compete in land value terms with mainstream housing.
However, market perception is changing as new operators within the sector work hard to provide what is really wanted by elderly people. Considerable facilities are now included such as swimming pool, weights rooms, libraries, quality circulation space / meeting areas and gardens.
Quality opportunities are needed in locations such as below. Land may already have buildings on edge of settlements with some tree cover to increase amenity value and setting.
We are very much in the market to secure suitable land for these new village communities in the Midlands and Cheshire , Home Counties, South Coast area and in the Cotswolds /Bristol as well as east Devon. Higher house price areas in the south are generally a pre-requisite , however there are operators in the north who operate on lower selling prices of around £275/foot selling in the community to make this type of development work . However, the local demographics need to be right.
We are not talking of the traditional McCarthy & Stone developments here but to build ‘Villages’ for the over 55s which incorporate levels of care and community and amenity with gardens and facilities.
Sites can be from 1.5 -2 acres upwards to even 20+ acres in the countryside such as ex equestrian use.
There are so many subsectors within the Retirement Village sector and requirements evolve and progress quickly.
If you have land which is suitable it really has to be meet criteria of our G.R.A.M.S.T.O.P. model on which we will do a separate blog on shortly.
Crucially we need population of 40,000 within a 5 mile catchment.
Watch out for more on this subject.