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Scotland’s retirees facing significant property shortfall

New research confirms concerns raised by SFHA at Age, Home and Community working group and Housing Advisory Group.

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Latest research, published by UK planning and design consultancy Barton Willmore, highlights the concerns routinely raised on behalf of SFHA members relating to providing the right housing options for older people.

The ‘Later Living – Are We Planning for our Future?’ report reveals that specialist UK retirement properties built so far have mostly been aimed at the better-off, while the majority of current and imminent retirees are far less wealthy. 

Using the Government’s own data, the report calculated that up to 10.1 million people aged 43 to 65 are approaching retirement with too little housing provision – and warns that local planning authorities and the housing market need to work closer together if this shortfall is to be met.

The figures show that most new-build retirement flats and homes are aimed at those with £300,000 or more of property wealth. Yet the fastest growing demographic amongst older people across the UK is actually those with assets of under £163,000 when they retire. 

In Scotland, the potential financial shortfall is even greater due to an average property wealth of just £110,000 across all age groups, amongst the lowest anywhere in the UK. 

Stephen Tucker, Partner at Barton Willmore in Scotland, said:

“This inability to find the right home at the right price means that people get stuck in the house they are in - and this has implications for the broader housing market that is already under providing across all sectors.”

Commenting on the research, SFHA Policy Lead Zhan McIntyre said:

“SFHA’s ambition is that everyone has a good home in a successful community, with a range of high quality, affordable, safe and accessible homes that meet people’s changing needs and aspirations throughout their lives.

“Providing homes that meet the needs of older people is a key concern to SFHA members and the customers they serve.

“We will continue to work with key partners including the Scottish Government, Health Improvement Scotland and the Health and Social Care Partners to champion the role housing associations have to play in delivering housing for an ageing population.”

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