Serious shortfall in retirement housing and a growing demand

Serious shortfall in retirement housing and a growing demand

Demand for specialist retirement homes is outstripping supply, according to Peter Girling, Chairman of Girlings Retirement Rentals; a situation which will worsen unless more is done to encourage developers to invest in building retirement properties during this and future years.

Girlings’ research shows that demand for properties is highest in London, followed by coastal towns such as Bournemouth, Eastbourne, Poole and Brighton.

Peter Girling said: “We have thousands of new enquiries each year from people attracted by the affordability of renting and the availability of assured  (lifetime) tenancies; however, there are simply not enough retirement properties to meet this demand, particularly in popular locations like London.”

Girlings supports the ‘Campaign for Housing in Later Life’, launched last year by the Home Builders Federation’s, (HBF). As part of the campaign, think tank Demos published a report “Top of the Ladder,” which highlighted this issue.

The report showed that 3.5 million people over 60 in the UK are interested in retirement housing, but there are only 506,000 units – 106,000 for home ownership and 400,000 available for rent in Britain.

Just 1% of the population lives in retirement housing. The campaign calls for commitment from local councils to respond to demographic changes and recognise the needs of older people when deciding future housing policy. It seeks to raise the profile of the benefits people can gain by living in appropriate retirement accommodation in later life, including having a better standard of living and a friendly community which can help combat loneliness.

Peter Girling says, “More needs to be done by Government this year to help to rectify this problem and make building retirement properties attractive for developers and local councils.”

David Hughes (67 years) recently moved into a Girlings property having decided to rent after being priced out of the property market in Bromley. Renting a retirement property proved an attractive and viable financial option for him as his monthly rent covers the property  maintenance there are no  additional service charges to pay.

He commented: “Thanks to Girlings, I have stayed in my home town where I couldn’t afford to buy and I have peace of mind I can remain here for a long time. I have the best of all worlds, I am close to family and friends and I don’t have all the stress that comes with owning a property.”

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