Renting for early retirees

  • 15th Feb 23
Renting for early retirees

The UK’s ageing population is growing substantially but our housing stock is not ready. We look at how Build to Rent can fill the void.


Population growth

The projections for the UK over the next two decades shows that the older population is expected to grow, with people aged 65 and over, making up almost a quarter of the population by 2043. Statistics and projections produced by Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that in 50 years’ time, there are likely to be an additional 8.6 million people aged 65 years and over – a population roughly the size of London. Along with this, there has been a decrease in fertility, people are having fewer children and are having children later in life.


Housing shortage

Although we have this knowledge, there is a historic undersupply of purpose-built retirement housing. In 2014, this type of housing made up only 2.8% of all new homes under construction in the UK. The property that is available is also getting old and according to the Elderly Accommodation Counsel (EAC), of the 730,000 retirement homes across the UK, more than half were built or last renovated more than 30 years ago. As people age, the family house and garden they once had may no longer suit their needs and in fact can be impossible to live in comfortably.


Are older people renting?

A report from specialist mortgage provider Paragon Bank shows that retiree renters and those in the upper-middle age category are the fastest growing tenant groups. Some 68% of over 55s said renting suited their needs or they enjoyed renting. One of the major benefits of renting is being able to step away from repairs with 63% of those surveyed saying they were pleased they don’t have to worry about this.


Reasons behind this growth

Rising divorce amongst older people, poorer pension returns and men living longer are just some of the reasons behind the change in living requirements. Other key trends include the fact that almost a quarter of older renters did not want to own a home, are much more likely to live in single-person households, and to have lived in rented property for substantial periods, often 10 years or more.


Changing attitudes

People are viewing getting older and retiring as a chance to do all the things that they didn’t have time for previously. Figures from the English Housing Survey show that almost 1.5 million people who are 65 or over are now choosing to rent, rather than being forced to. Covid may have had an impact on this change of attitude with people now wanting to enjoy a different way of living in which they can travel while their home is secure.


Offering an alternative

Retirement rental developments offer many of the lifestyle facilities that older renters want but there is a shortage of good quality homes available. An alternative solution is the Build to Rent sector. Here, residents of any age can enjoy flexible tenancies which offers security that they won’t be asked to leave because the landlord wants to sell as well as on-site maintenance teams to deal with any repairs or issues and a concierge or security to give them peace of mind.


Lifestyle perks of Build to Rent

Older people are not just looking for a home to live in, new retirees want to enjoy a more active and sociable way of living. Build to Rent offers many lifestyle amenities and can include a range of amenities including gyms, yoga studios and swimming pools. There are also often a team of people ensuring residents feel connected with many events such as supper clubs, dog walking groups, cinema nights or quiz evenings. 


Social communities

Developers create Build to Rent homes within areas that are well connected, have local shops, good health facilities and transport links to ensure residents feel like they are part of their local neighbourhood in a place that is aspirational. Older renters often stay for a longer period, creating stability and a chance to build friendships. Within the Build to Rent mix, there is a wide age range of customers, creating vibrant communities that are exciting to be part of.



Back to article index