EXCLUSIVE: Investor interest in UK care home market at historic high, says Knight Frank

Julian Evans

Investor interest in the UK care home market is at an historic high, according to Knight Frank Head of Healthcare Julian Evans.

Julian’s comments came in the wake of recent news that leading providers HC-One and Care UK had been put up for sale and amidst ongoing restructuring talks at Four Seasons.

“The recent market activity is a reflection of how robust and defensive the care home sector is,” Julian told CHP.

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“I have never seen such as broach church of investor interest in the sector.”

The healthcare property specialist said market activity was being driven by the high barriers to entry of a stringently regulated sector and the paucity of scalable care home platforms.

Julian said inward investment was needed in the current market climate with demand outstripping supply. He added that 85% of care home stock was over 40 years old with half of the UK’s 480,000 care homes beds not fit for purpose.

The Knight Frank Head of Healthcare said upgrading the UK’s 240,000 beds without en-suite facilities would cost £15bn.

He stressed that the care home sector was facing a “national crisis” of undersupply with 5,000 beds brought to the market last year and 7,000 beds being decommissioned.

Julian predicted that the UK care home market would remain highly fragmented over the next 20-25 years with major providers currently accounting for just 25% of the market.

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