Realtor giving senior couple key to new house at meeting

Older tenant numbers are soaring across UK rental market

The number of homes in the UK being rented to people aged over 50 has surged by more than 60% since 2012, opening up new opportunities for landlords.

Property agent Hamptons International revealed data on renters above the age of 50 in its monthly letting index. People in this age group living in Great Britain are expected to pay £9.2bn in rent during 2019. Currently, it’s estimated that 791,580 properties are rented by those aged over 50, which is an 8.2% increase from 2018 and 61% more than in 2012.

‘Silver renters’ are becoming a larger part of the rental market. Across Britain, people above the age of 50 make up 15% of rented households, which is up from 11% in 2012. Almost a third of these renters are pensioners. With the UK set to become a nation of renters by 2022, this figure is bound to increase, creating a new target tenant type for many landlords. Additionally, as Generation Rent becomes older, renting is likely to remain a popular option.

Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons International, commented: “The number of over 50s renting in Great Britain has reached a record high. 

“With younger generations much less likely to be homeowners, tenants are getting older, and an ever more diverse group of people are calling the rented sector home.”

Retirement housing sector expected to expand

Having room for further growth, the retirement housing sector is forecast to expand rapidly in the coming years. According to a recent report by Savills, retirement housing is currently worth £120bn. At full maturity, the retirement living sector for people aged over 75 is forecast to grow to 1.7 million homes, which is a rise of 138% over current stock.

The report by Savills says: “Retirement housing has been a feature of the UK housing market for decades… A more investible market is beginning to emerge, however.

“Demographic and affluence trends show there’s huge potential: an ageing population with vast stores of housing wealth is an attractive customer base.”

According to the Elderly Accommodation Counsel, there are currently 730,000 retirement housing units in the UK. Over half of these units were built or last renovated more than 30 years ago. The population over the age of 75 is expected to grow more than a third by 2030, showing more investment needs to be made in this sector. With an ageing population, there’s untapped potential in rental retirement homes.

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