Downsizing to retire or renovating to sell to a downsizer? What to look for in a new home

Whether you're house-hunting for a home to retire to or investing in a renovation project to sell on to a retiree, here's what's in demand

(Image credit: Getty)

It seems like every day we are hearing more negative news about the state of the property market. But a recent survey from Knight Frank shows that at least one housing sector is booming… retirement properties. 

The real estate company found that the private retirement property market is estimated to reach a value of £44 billion by 2022, reflecting a 50 per cent increase in just four years. 

As a result of the survey, commercial property specialists Savoy Stewart analysed the statistics further to discover the total number of new private retirement living units due to be completed by 2020. The result was a whopping 9,540. 

Savoy Stewart also looked into where in the UK these units were being developed. The study found that by 2020, the South East will benefit from the highest number of new private retirement living units, with 2,733 being built.

At the other end of the scale, the North East will see the lowest figure, with just 79 expected to be completed by 2020. Wales will have the second fewest: just 125 set to be finished within the next two years. 

The number of retirement properties being built in the UK in the next two years

(Image credit: Savoy Stewart)

The property company also looked into the features and facilities retirees would be most willing to pay a premium for when considering a retirement property. Unsurprisingly, a dedicated, secure parking space came up top, whereas a walk in wardrobe was of the least interest. So, if you're thinking of getting into property developing for the retirement market (or a retiree considering that all-important move), here's what tops the list:

The Amenities that the elderly are willing to pay for in a retirement home

(Image credit: Savoy Stewart)

'The demand for specialist retirement properties is only set to increase in the future as the general population lives longer. As private landlords and developers cater to this demand by designing and constructing new retirement living units, they should wisely deliberate over the various wants and needs of the elderly,' explains Darren Best, managing director of Savoy Stewart. 

'This research certainly shows that there are features and facilities that elderly Brits desire and would be more than happy to pay a premium for. Whilst some features and facilities are prioritised over others, they all provide a fantastic blueprint for private landlords and developers as to what the older generations are ideally expecting when they envision a good retirement property.'

Hebe Hatton

Hebe joined the Real Homes team in early 2018 as Staff Writer before moving to the Livingetc team in 2021 where she took on a role as Digital Editor. She loves boho and 70's style and is a big fan of Instagram as a source of interiors inspiration. When she isn't writing about interiors, she is renovating her own spaces – be it wallpapering a hallway, painting kitchen cupboards or converting a van.