There was a 2,612 decline in the number of care home beds in the UK last year, according to Knight Frank research.
Knight Frank’s 2017 Healthcare Development Opportunities report shows the number of care homes fell by 166 in the 12 months to September 2016.
Greater London saw the greatest decline in beds due to the conversion of care homes to other uses.
There were 106 new care home registrations in the period, equivalent to 5,497 beds.
This represents a decline on the prior-year figures of 119 new homes and 5,805 beds.
Knight Frank said the number of new homes could slow further as a result of the implementation of the National Living Wage (NLW) in April 2016 and the decision to leave the EU.
The property specialist added that the further rise in the NLW announced by the Chancellor in the Autumn Statement made the closure of further care homes “inevitable”.
Knight Frank added that the erosion of supply coupled with rising demand as a result of the ageing population would spark development interest (see table).
The consultancy said the size of newly registered care homes rose from 49 beds in 2015 to 52 beds in 2016, suggesting that growing need for bed capacity would be met through larger homes.