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Both Millennials And Baby Boomers Are About To Hit A Housing Crisis


The State of the Nation’s Housing report from the International Longevity Centre reveals trouble ahead for Baby Boomers and Millennials alike. 

Despite significant increases in the number of older people living alone, half of all older people with care needs haven’t made adaptations to their homes to make them easier to live in.

Whilst specialist retirement housing can offer more adaptations and play a part in supporting downsizing, the report also finds the retirement housing supply gap is set to worsen.

The crunch comes just as Baby Boomers need extra help around the house, and there are fewer people to provide that assistance. Data shows the average household was 2.9 people in 1971, compared to today’s 2.3 people per household. It's a dreadful combo: Fewer people to care for the Boomers and fewer homes for the Boomers to move into when their current homes get to be too much.  

Making matters crummy for the Millennials is that many of these older people are living in under-occupied housing so those homes are not available for members of the younger generation who are trying to get on the property ladder.

The report notes that an increase in retirement homes could be a solution, but construction in the UK is slow, averaging only about 7,000 units per year over the last decade. There are about 515,000 specialist retirement homes in England, accommodation for around 5% of the over-65 set.

Audley Retirement Villages CEO Nick Sanderson says the report highlights a major issue—Baby Boomers are stuck in unsuitable housing and the situation is exacerbated by focusing on the wrong end of the market by government and housebuilders alike. Nick says that with a shortage of 160,000 retirement units by 2030, it is vital that we both build more suitable homes for older generations and support them in their choice to downsize by providing attractive and aspirational options.