Octopus: more work needed to educate people on retirement communities
Up to 2.5m people in the UK would consider moving to a retirement community after seeing more information on them, according to a report by developer Octopus Real Estate.
Octopus’ Unlocking the retirement opportunity in a post-pandemic world report found more work needs to be done to educate people on the benefits of retirement community living, as the research revealed many people did not understand what a retirement community offered.
Some 79 per cent of respondents had not considered living in a retirement community, while 33 per cent of respondents were not able to identify what a retirement community was.
However, Octopus found 27.3 per cent of people aged 65 and over would ‘definitely’ or ‘maybe’ consider moving to a retirement community once they understood what it offers. That number rose to 43 per cent for those aged 55-59.
The findings mean Octopus estimates that a total of just over 2.5m people aged 65 and above would potentially require a home in a retirement community.
Octopus said the research highlights a need for operators, developers, and investors to work together to build more retirement communities to meet this demand.
“Although retirement communities are not new, it is still a nascent market, and the research gives an insight into the potential growth that lies ahead,” said head of retirement Kevin Beirne.
“There is an opportunity to create desirable homes that retired people want, and currently there is not sufficient supply to meet this untapped demand. The industry needs to work together to educate to ensure that the asset is better understood,” he added.
Elysian director of marketing and sales Katherine Rose said: “A particularly important finding that the research revealed is the level of respondents, over a fifth, who are still not clear of the difference between a care home and retirement communities.
“The assets provide very different lifestyles and support very different needs. There is an important role for the sector to educate and we should work together, as an industry, to highlight the benefits and the differences.”