A report by the International Longevity Centre UK, the details of which were covered in an August 2016 PropertyWire.com article, has urged the government to focus on providing housing for elderly people.
The report states that in the last 10 years, there has been a marked increase in the number of older people living alone. Many of these have limited mobility and health issues that require home adaptations. A considerable number could benefit from living in specially adapted retirement homes, but there is a shortage of such properties.
The report recommends that local councils promote and help finance the building of homes for the elderly.
Many old people living alone reside in large family houses. One solution recognised by the International Longevity Centre UK, is to sell their home and buy a smaller buy-to-let property. The rent from this could cover the cost of renting a retirement home or apartment, while retaining capital in the buy-to-let property to leave to any children. Another benefit of this is releasing family homes onto the property market.
Many lenders offer bridging loans to elderly people to cover any delay between purchasing the buy-to-let property and selling their existing home.
The head of the economics of ageing at the International Longevity Centre UK, Ben Franklin said:
“The UK’s population is growing and is ageing which will only exacerbate the current crisis. In this context, supporting the housing needs of older people can be one important component of a strategy to revitalise the nation’s housing.”