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UK’s senior living sector to rise 10% over next five years, says Knight Frank

Tom Scaife

The UK’s senior living sector will grow by 10% over the next five years, according to global property consultancy, Knight Frank.

Research by Knight Frank’s Senior Living team forecasts the housing with care market will grow by 48% or 45,000 units over the next five years, with retirement housing predicted to rise by 5% or 29,000 units. Combined, this will mean growth of 10%, or 800,000 units, in the overall senior housing sector by 2025.

Tom Scaife, Head of Senior Living at Knight Frank, (pictured) said: “There are a number of clear trends emerging in the senior living space, driven primarily by demand from residents. Schemes in urban locations – such as Audley’s new Nightingale Place in Clapham – are becoming increasingly popular as more people seek lifestyle-led offerings. Developments of mixed tenure are also becoming more widespread, as people discover the flexibility that comes from renting instead of buying in their later years.”

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Growth in senior living housing stock is forecast to be outstripped by the ageing population, however, with one in four people expected to be over 65 by 2037.

As a result, the number of senior housing units per 1,000 people over 75 is expected to fall to 120 by 2024 down from 137 in 2010 and 129 in 2020, representing an overall 12.4% decline over 15 years.

Knight Frank highlighted planning policy as another significant factor holding back the sector.

Its recent research suggests that only 18% of local authorities in England have clear planning policies and site allocations to support the sector, with 50% having neither.

Knight Frank recently predicted that 6,500 care homes totalling 140,000 beds are at risk of closure over the next five years.

Lauren Harwood, Head of Senior Living Research at Knight Frank, added: “Currently, the forecast suggests that the projected delivery of seniors housing will not keep pace with our growing ageing population. A step change in new delivery is required if the UK is to reverse the huge imbalance between need and supply, which is only set to increase as people continue to live longer and more of the population enters the 65+ age bracket.”

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The author Lee Peart

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