The over-60s are set to outnumber those aged under 20 by 2045
With over-60s set to outnumber those aged under 20 by 2045, the redevelopment of towns and cities needs to cater for the older generation.
And a series of incentives should be introduced by the Government, local authorities and developers in a bid to make new homes more adaptable.
Proposed changes include cutting the stamp duty paid by “last-time buyers” to encourage older home-owners to downsize and relieve the demand for family homes.
Developers and councils could also incorporate an allocation of homes for older owners in any new large-scale developments in the same way they do for social housing.
There could also be zoned areas for assisted living accommodation and care homes.
The proportion of over 65s in OECD countries will rise from 16 to 25 per cent by 2045
An ageing population presents huge challenges to the way our cities function
The report, ‘Silver cities: planning for an ageing population’, commissioned by property specialists Grosvenor Group, highlights the impact that a growing number of elderly householders will have on UK cities.
It found the proportion of over 65s in OECD countries will rise from 16 per cent to a quarter by 2045, whilst the proportion of under 20s will shrink from 24 per cent to 21 per cent in the same time period.
This equates to an additional 146million pensioners in those countries by 2045, or an extra 15,000 people reaching retirement age each day for the next 30 years.
Graham Parry, research director at Grosvenor Group, said: “An ageing population presents huge challenges to the way our cities function.
“It’s not just a question of mobility, which is what most people immediately tend to think of, it’s also about how we make homes, offices and retail spaces more suited to the needs of an elderly population.
“Evidence shows that most elderly people don’t move house in their later years, largely because of a lack of options within their communities, where they have their roots and networks.
“Yet, if the right products and incentives were available, more ‘last-time buyers’ would down-size from typically larger family homes to more suitable accommodation, in the process also making more family homes available for younger generations.”
The report said there was a growing market for homes which fill the gap between the family home and sheltered accommodation or care homes.
Current generations of elderly people are typically far more active than their predecessors and want to be around like-minded people, but do not want or need to go into a care facility, it noted.
Extending minimum standards that already exist to provide for those with a disability could also be extended to include the elderly.
There will be an additional 146m pensioners in OECD countries by 2045
Colin Lewis, chief executive officer of housebuilder Avant Homes, said: “It’s a common frustration of housebuilders that the current planning system is both slow and inconsistent, which can leave viable sites undeveloped for longer than needed or worse still, refused planning permission.
“The issue of land supply is more complex than simply forcing developers to ‘use it or lose it’.”
“It’s important to challenge the presumption that housebuilders sit on land.
“With the Letwin Review underway, we would hope that the Government will listen to how land supply levels in the UK are created by a planning system clogged up by a combination of local people’s ‘nimbyism’ and short-sighted councillors, who are often supported by vote-seeking MPs.”
The National Federation of Builders (NFB) warned that a more ambitious approach to planning reform was necessary to free developers to build more homes.
Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said: “The planning process remains the major barrier to growth in the industry.
“The NFB had hoped to see more comprehensive revisions to planning guidance.
“This will hopefully feature in the Letwin Review because local developers often identify planning as a barrier to securing deliverable planning permissions
“We would like to see the Government more ambitious on planning reform.”
Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, added: “Solving the housing crisis is not just about building more homes.
“Attention needs to be paid to lending, planning, enforcement and better use of existing resources, especially local authority land.”
Ian Anderson, a partner in Cushman & Wakefield’s Planning and Development team, said: “One of the big delays housebuilders face is the capacity of the planning system to deliver new local plans and assess applications.”
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