New figures show older people will account for majority of all new household growth

13 July 2016

New figures show older people will account for 74% of all new household growth

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) yesterday published its latest projections for the number of households in England and its local authority districts, up to the year 2039. A striking finding within the report is that older householders (aged 65+) are projected to grow by 155,000 per year, with 53,000 per year growth projected for 85+ households. Older people will account for about three quarters (74%) of total household growth up to 2039Furthermore, the projections show an almost direct correlation between age and the rate of household growth, i.e. apart from the under-25 age group, the older the age group, the faster the percentage rate of household growth increase.

Commenting on the publication of the report, Gary Day, Executive Land & Planning Director for McCarthy & Stone, the UK’s leading retirement housebuilder, said:

“We welcome the findings of the DCLG report.  The UK has a rapidly ageing population: almost three quarters of total household growth up to 2039 will be by older people, underlining the urgent need for better housing options for this age group, including the ability to downsize to high quality retirement developments. However, despite the significant growth of this part of the population, only 141,000 units of specialist retirement housing have ever been built, meaning the UK’s housing stock is woefully unprepared for this huge demographic shift.

“Research show that there are as many as five million UK homeowners aged 55+ who are considering or expecting to downsize, yet not enough is being done to cater for this burgeoning market. Up until now, the Government has commendably focused on increasing supply of housing for younger people through initiatives such as Help to Buy, but at the same time there is a chronic under-supply of purpose-built retirement housing of the type that we provide.

“With a new Government about to take charge, this issue must be a key priority for future housing policy. Not only will decisive action support older people in later life, it will also make a significant contribution to solving the UK’s housing crisis by freeing up family homes at the top of the property ladder. In addition, it will help keep older people healthier and happier for longer, reducing existing strains on the social care and health system. ”

The report also notes that those aged 65 and over will increase from 29% of all households in 2014 to 37% in 2039.  Households aged 85 and over will increase from 4.1% to 8.1% of all households over the projection period.

The full report can be downloaded here.

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