If agents want to get into what looks like a guaranteed growth sector, retirement properties might just be the one if data from Knight Frank is correct.
It says the private retirement property market is estimated to reach a value of £44 billion by 2022, reflecting a 50 per cent increase in just four years.
The number of private retirement living units is also forecast to increase by almost 30 per cent in the same timeframe.
The agency says there are currently more than 720,000 retirement units in the UK, 75 per cent of which are social housing.
However, it says the market is evolving from predominantly publicly funded stock, with private development now accounting for an average 54 per cent of all new units delivered annually since 2000. By 2022, this is set to rise to 78 per cent annually.
Knight Frank says the market has evolved into two distinct types; later living with limited on-site care (this constitutes about 70 per cent of retirement property) and housing with care or assisted living plus increased management and amenities.
Of those aged 65 or over in the UK, only 0.5 per cent reside in housing with care schemes - this lags well behind the USA, Australia and New Zealand, which all exceed 5.0 per cent.
The agency adds that the Draft New London Plan is the only major plan in the UK to outline annual targets for the delivery of retirement housing.
If implemented, this will see an additional 4,000 units delivered per year across the capital up to 2029.
“Going forward we rapidly need every UK local authority to have a cohesive plan for the delivery of retirement living – so they can be held to account for meeting the needs of their constituents” explains Tom Scaife, head of retirement housing at Knight Frank.
“The government has committed to help those at the beginning of the property ladder with initiatives such as Help To Buy and stamp duty relief for first time buyers. These initiatives and support should not be constrained to the beginning of the ladder – support should be available at all stages of the property life cycle” he adds.