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The ‘baby boomer effect’: retirement housing opportunities

7 Oct 2017

A large, 20-year ‘bump’ of people in the UK are moving into retirement. This generation has high expectations when it comes to both quality of life and standards of accommodation.

The Baby Boomers are reaching retirement and they want to grow old in a different way to their parents’ generation. A sedentary lifestyle living in retirement housing or care homes out of sight and out of mind is not for them. They want high quality housing solutions that allow them to continue their active and comfortable lifestyles, playing their part in the local and wider community.

This demographic has high expectations and wants to live independently and enjoy retirement for as long as possible. Yet there is a significant shortfall of housing for this group. Only 2% of the UK housing stock is designated as retirement housing, and only a small percentage of that meets the demands of this new generation of retirees.

Housing needs of the Platinum Generation

Octopus Healthcare and property experts Strutt Parker, recently commissioned a report into the needs and desires of the UK’s retirement generation. Called Housing Futures: The Platinum Generation our research surveyed over 2,200 respondents aged 65 and over, and explored current provision, attitudes to retirement, barriers to downsizing / rightsizing, financial considerations and aspirations for retirement living. Our survey results revealed four key insights into people’s attitudes towards retirement accommodation in the UK:

  • 73% currently have no plans in place for their retirement accommodation or their care provision.
  • 41% would like a six-month trial before permanently moving into a retirement community.
  • 42% believe there is a lack of suitable properties in the UK to downsize into.
  • 17% would consider living in a professionally managed rental product – in other words, a Build to Rent model.

As a result of our research Octopus Healthcare has identified a potential solution that we are calling Platinum Places: retirement housing fit for the Baby Boomers and future generations. In this whitepaper we explore the opportunity for property developers, landowners and investors to meet the shortfall in this booming sector, and provide innovative solutions for today’s retirees. You can read more by visiting healthcarewhitepaper.co.uk.


Octopus Property and Octopus Healthcare merged to form Octopus Real Estate.

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