The latest Senior Housing Development report from estate agency Knight Frank[i] shows that the number of senior housing units is set to increase by nearly 10% over the next five years in a bid to keep pace with the rising 65+ population which is set to grow by 22% in the next 30 years to 15.1 million people.
Knight Frank also highlight a shift to providing more housing choices for older people and forecast the number of rental properties for seniors in the UK will increase by 166% in the next five years, from almost 5,000 currently to almost 13,000 by 2025[ii].
Nygel Scourfield, Chief Executive at retirement rentals brand, My Future Living says this reflects growing interest in renting in later life as more people become aware of the benefits it can offer.
Mr Scourfield says, “Whilst home ownership has always the pinnacle of most people’s housing dreams, as people get older their priorities change and we’re seeing growing numbers decide that renting in a retirement development is the best choice for them when they reach their 60s, 70s or 80s.
“There are lots of reasons why such as downsizing and freeing up capital in a home, as well as no longer having to look after the maintenance of a property which can become burdensome as people age. There is also the camaraderie of living in a retirement community and having likeminded people you can mix with if you choose.
“Our retirement developments are all about independent living but there are communal areas for people to socialise in, which is a big attraction for some, especially those living alone. There is also the safety and security element too. Many apartments have an emergency Careline cord or button, plus a house manager on site during the day to help with the running of the development who also keeps an eye on people and makes sure they are OK. Whilst renting may not appeal to everyone, for some it can be a great option and well worth considering in later life.”
One lady benefitting from living in a retirement development is 85 year old Maria Elena Grillo who enjoyed a prestigious career working as a Professor for the National Academy of Dance and she still has a great passion for dance.
For the past 10 years has Maria has rented an apartment at Sheridan Lodge in Bromley. She was keen to rent in a retirement community because it offers the freedom and flexibility she wants. She also is on an assured tenancy which gives her security and means she never has to worry about a landlord wanting her to leave.
Maria’s studio apartment has lovely views over the communal gardens and she is surrounded by friends and neighbours so even though she lives alone she never feels alone. She is settled and happy in her community which she says, ‘feel like family’. She comments, “Everyone is so very friendly and there is a strong sense of community at Sheridan Lodge.”
After suffering an accident last year, Maria was overwhelmed by the support, kindness and care her neighbours and in particular the House Manager have shown her.
She says, “From checking in on me daily and helping me with my weekly shopping, my friends here have been invaluable.
“I have a lovely cosy studio apartment which I love. The gardens are beautifully maintained and there is a warm feeling around the development. During the pandemic, we had to keep our distance and were unable to use the communal areas such as the lounge area.
“But now life is slowly getting back to normal. So far this week we’ve had a tea party and another gathering arranged for the weekend.
“I would highly recommend moving into a retirement community. As a woman living alone it is reassuring to know I have people I can speak to and socialise with, plus the house manager is wonderful and always goes above and beyond to help.”
To find out more about renting a home in a retirement development visit: www.myfutureliving.co.uk