Increased demand for senior housing creates opportunities

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There is an increased demand for senior housing and this sector of the property market is expected to grow over the next few years as the life expectancy of UK residents increases.

Senior housing includes independent living, assisted living and care facilities. In the past, purpose-built senior housing tended to be basic, but modern developments are luxurious and targeted at seniors that are financially well off. Residents also want facilities such as communal lounges and cafes.

The over-60s have £1,200 billion in unmortgaged property. They often sell their homes to release capital or to purchase a home that is adapted for seniors. Though there are a number of large investment firms that are building senior housing, there are still plenty of opportunities for small investors to either purchase or build property for seniors.

Thanks to high demand many units in purpose-built retirement complexes sell fast, sometimes on the day they are put on sale.

An example of the new standard in senior housing is a newly completed development, Bancourt House in Torquay which has 42 luxury studio apartments. The complex is like a luxury hotel with a heated swimming pool, gymnasium, fine dining restaurant, loungers, a private cinema and bar.

Commercial mortgages are available for purchasing or building senior housing. Loans or bridging finance is also available to convert existing property to adapt it for senior living. There can be good returns from both capital growth and income.

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