Our market

Our market

We have unparalleled knowledge of our market and customer base, a highly skilled and experienced workforce and a national presence.

We lead a sector with huge potential due to a rapidly ageing population and a long-term undersupply of high quality and appropriate housing for older people.

Key statistics

  • Number of people aged 65 and over in the UK in 2018: 12.2 million1 
  • Estimated growth in the number of people aged 65 and over by 2043: 43%1 
  • Number of people aged 65 and over who would consider moving: c.4 million2
  • New retirement properties built in 2019: c.8,0003
  • Estimated annual demand for retirement properties: 30,0004

An ageing population

The UK’s population continues to age rapidly. The number of people aged 65 or over in 2018 stood at 12.2 million, and will rise to 17.4 million by 2043, a 43% increase. Those aged 85 or over will rise from 1.6 million to 3.0 million over this period, an 87% increase1. This suggests strong and ongoing demand for retirement communities.

 
UK Population

Linked to this, demand for adult social care services is also set to rise significantly, from c.700,000 people in 2020 to c.1.2 million in 20405.

1 ONS National Population Projections (2018-based)
YouGov Survey for McCarthy & Stone (2019)
3 EAC (2019)
4 Knight Frank (2016)
5 PSSRU (2018)

An under-supply of suitable housing options

Despite this, the UK retirement community market remains under-supplied. Just c.8,0001  new units came to the market across all tenures in 2019, which is set against demand that is estimated to be up to 30,0002 units a year. This creates a significant annual shortfall and the number of older people living in the UK far exceeds the supply of suitable retirement housing. 
This shortage remains one part of the wider housing crisis. It is estimated that England alone needs c.300,0003 new homes a year to match demand, but there were just c.241,0004 net additions in 2018/19.

  Retirement Housing

1 EAC (2019)
Knight Frank (2016)
3 HM Treasury (2017)
4 MHCLG (2019)

Strong demand to downsize

We also continue to see strong demand from potential customers to move. Our survey of 3,011 people aged 65 and over in the UK with YouGov in 2019 found that 33%5 would consider moving, that’s more than 4 million people.

5 YouGov survey for McCarthy Stone (2019)

Tapping into the broader retirement housing market

Our new multi-tenure options have helped to address these subdued conditions. Around one in five households (19%) in England live in the private rented sector, which is equivalent to 4.5 million households, making it the second largest tenure after home ownership and this is the part of the market that has grown significantly in recent years. By comparison, 17% (4 million) live in the social rented sector and 64% (14.8 million) are owner occupiers1.

Our own research suggests that 50% of our customers would also be happy to consider renting, many of whom are currently owner occupiers, which suggests strong demand in this space. 
In response to demand, and as part of our strategy, we’re offering multi-tenure solutions including:

  • Outright ownership
  • Shared ownership
  • Rental
 Trends

1 English Housing Survey (2019)