Retirement Living Index

8 September 2016

The release of the ONS 2014-based population and household projections has only emphasised and underlined the housing crisis. They have further highlighted the extent of ageing projected in England over the next 25 years. By 2039, a quarter of the national population will be over 65.

The retired population is projected to see by far the greatest rate of increase of any age group, with the average annual growth rate to 2039 over seven times higher than the growth projected in the working age population. The number of people aged 65-84 is projected to increase by 47% to over 12 million by 2039. This compares with only a 7% growth in the working age population and an 11% growth in the number of under 18s.

This level of growth, along with the ageing ‘baby-boomers’ being more discerning, healthier and independent will have significant implications for how we deliver the right housing to meet their needs. Slowly but surely we are witnessing a growing retirement living sector which is introducing more products and choice into the market.

This growth however is not uniform across all regional geographies. For instance the region which is projected to have the greatest increase in people aged 65 and over will be the South West. There are of course more subtleties, even in areas of high growth, which ultimately lead to certain local authority areas displaying high levels of market strength and demand. We have sought to capture these and have produced a Retirement Living Index which ranks 325 local authorities in England based on market strength and need. This allows comparisons to be made quickly and easily across a large number of locations and should assist developers in targeting investment and rolling site search programmes.

The report provides more detail including details of the top 20 local authorities which feature in our index.

Top 20 local authorities for retirement living investment

Top 20 local authorities for retirement living investment

The evidence is clear on the presence of an ageing population throughout the country. Local planning authorities must do more to ensure that there is a robust policy context to deliver the much-needed accommodation to serve this group of the community. Similarly, this Index highlights large areas that offer landowners and developers the opportunity to deliver retirement living schemes which capitalise on the area’s ageing population, equity levels, under-occupancy rates and house prices.

Whether you are looking at targeting the coastal towns in the South West of England or the picturesque towns of Derbyshire, our Retirement Living Index can assist you in focussing your resources.