Appetite for retirement properties continues to grow

Appetite for retirement properties continues to grow

It has become one of the surprise performers in the world of property investment across the course of the last few years, but it seems like those who invested in retirement rental assets in recent times could soon be seeing fantastic returns as the level of demand for this property type continues to grow. 

Older people increasingly want to sell their family homes and move into purpose built apartments that exist in community-like areas, where they can have the care they need along with the social aspects that can enhance their life, but with the all-important independence they can't have in a traditional retirement home. 

According to retirement company Girlings, the past 12 months alone has seen an increase of seven per cent in the volume of enquiries from older people about selling their homes and moving to smaller apartments designed to better meet their needs. It also said that there was a 34 per cent rise in traffic to its site in the first half of 2015 compared to the same period last year. 

It stated that this new traffic had highlighted one of the most important aspects of the property market at the moment - there just is not enough out there to meet demand from specialist investors. While more older people want to live in rented or purchased specialist homes, there are not enough retirement villages and communities being constructed. 

What this represents is a real opportunity for investors to get a piece of a market that really needs more money to meet demand. A rising demand means that returns should be strong for some time, giving a real potential for profits to buyers. 

Girlings' research said that only three per cent of new homes on average are designed to meet the needs of older people. This is in spite of the fact that in 20 years time, older residents are set to represent some 23 per cent of the population as a whole. 

"Our continuing message to government is that the UK desperately needs more purpose built retirement property so that older people have the option to downsize," said Peter Girling, chair of Girlings Retirement Rentals.

"Many older people are stuck in homes that are too big for them, have little choice of a suitable alternative and perceive the obstacles to enjoying a better quality of life in their later years are insurmountable," he added.