Cushman and Wakefield have today released their Report on Housing and Care for Older People. The Report focuses on specialist housing schemes which offer support and / or care to residents. The Report looks at self-contained accommodation and not care home accommodation. Residents may not require care when they first move into the described accommodation, but care is available as and when required. Communal facilities such as restaurants and gyms may be on offer to residents.
The Report highlights the under supply of housing for older people (of particular issue in some geographical areas); the lack of choice in tenure available to residents (i.e. owning accommodation vs renting); and the comparatively low penetration rate of suitable housing for older people in the UK compared with other developed countries.
It is clear that senior living offers an opportunity for investors looking for alternative investments. However, the Report outlines the issues faced by the sector and explains the need for central government's involvement in driving this sector forward. Once the government has resolved the issues faced by the sector, this sector could explode.
Early investors will need to grapple with planning issues. Such investors will notice increased building costs compared with normal residential development / the build-to-rent model. Investors will need to consider how care and support are facilitated to residents in the long term. As care is a regulated activity, this poses greater levels of complexity compared with the build-to-rent model.