An ARCO survey of UK retirement community operators has found a “very significant” increase in the number of older people actively enquiring about retirement communities.
85% of organisations surveyed by the Associated Retirement Community Operators – the main body that represents the retirement community sector in the UK – indicated that sales and lettings in the last month were higher than in the same period in 2019.
More than half (55%) of respondents reported that sales and lettings were at least 30% higher than in 2019.
A quarter (25%) of respondents reported sales and lettings being up to 50% higher.
65% of operators stated that the most common drivers of the increase in activity were twofold: a desire for more company and social interaction, and customers deciding the houses they were previously living in were no longer suitable.
60% of operators also indicated demand being driven by a desire to access a support network ahead of another potential lockdown periods.
Michael Voges, executive director of ARCO, said: “These figures confirm a trend our members have been observing for a long time: there is a huge gap in the UK market for aspirational living options combining both social interaction and optional support services.
“An ever growing number of older people are reviewing their housing, support, and care needs in the face of the current pandemic, and are seeking out retirement communities that enable them to live independently for as long as possible.”
ARCO’s members include not-for-profit operators and fast-growing private operators.
Image credit: Alex Boyd/Unsplash
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