A retirement rental company that specialises in letting properties to the over-55s says the government should do more to encourage increased investment in specialist retirement flats and houses.
Peter Girling of Girlings Retirement Rentals claims demand for purpose-built retirement housing is outstripping demand, especially in London and coastal towns with traditional elderly communities such as Bournemouth, Eastbourne, Poole and Brighton.
“We have thousands of new enquiries each year from people attracted by the affordability of renting and the availability of assured lifetime tenancies. However, there are simply not enough retirement properties to meet this demand” Girling claims.
The Campaign for Housing in Later Life, a campaign to promote retirement housing launched last year by the Home Builders Federation, has published a report claiming that 3.5 million people over 60 in the UK are interested in retirement housing.
But with only 506,000 retirement units – 106,000 for home ownership and 400,000 available for rent - specialist retirement communities remain thin on the ground.
Gary Day of McCarthy & Stone, one of Britain’s largest retirement developers, says 65 per cent of planning applications to build retirement homes are initially rejected. He is calling for councils to give more priority to council housing through looser S106 and other social housing requirements normally expected from developers building private homes.