Kingston Upon Thames

Are urban developments the future of retirement property?

Jan 27, 2021

Investment in the senior living market has increased tremendously in 2020, reaching record highs, according to a new report released by property experts Knight Frank. Investors understand that there is a significant shortage of high-quality retirement homes, coupled with huge demand.

Knight Frank’s report anticipates that the retirement property market will grow by 10% over the next five years. Yet despite the fact that delivery of new properties will continue to rise, the UK’s demographics and its aging population mean that the number of seniors housing units per 1000 individuals aged 75+ is expected to actually drop by 2024.

 A trend towards urban retirement properties

 So we know that there is huge demand out there for good quality retirement property – but exactly what are buyers looking for? Alongside insights into the size of the retirement property market, the Knight Frank report highlights some interesting trends which could reflect changing tastes amongst buyers.

One such is the appetite for retirement developments in urban locations, which offer proximity to high street amenities. Our own development, Mulberry Court, is represents this very trend – located as it is close to the high street and transport links in Hampton Wick, and offering those who are based in the area an opportunity to downsize, but stay close to their existing social and family networks.

Properties that are part of their local community

The trend towards more developments in urban locations also means a shift towards re-purposing existing sites and buildings – for example those previously in commercial use.

Breathing new life into existing sites is something that has long been at the heart of the Lifestyle Residences’ approach, in our work for the retirement property market, as well as developments for first time buyers and in town-centre locations generally. Our founder John O’Neill is passionate about preventing buildings falling into disuse, and making sure new developments align with what local partners and communities really value about their area.

This can be seen in our conversion of Churcham House in Teddington into residential apartments, which won an award from the Teddington Society. With Mulberry Court, we have had the opportunity to form a close partnership with the owner of the site, delivering long-term benefit for them, and allowing us to blend existing gardens and buildings with stylish new apartments, offering a new lease of life to this beautiful corner of South West London.

Looking ahead

It’s clear that the UK property market is playing catch-up when it comes to meeting the demands of buyers in the 60+ and 70+ age groups. They are looking for well-designed, contemporary properties in great locations – and we’re working to deliver what they want at Mulberry Court – and in future developments.