- 12th December 2019
- Posted by: DMM
- Category: Retirement Property
Building retirement flats is a specialist and thriving sector of the residential property market and yet so often misunderstood; so, what is retirement accommodation?
It is perhaps first worth understanding what we mean by retirement accommodation and the different types of property. The concept of private retirement property probably started in the 1970’s with McCarthy & Stone building their first development in Hampshire.
In most cases, when building retirement flats the project will comprise a development of apartments that are specifically designed for the over 60’s and that allow independent living. Such features may include hallways designed to potentially be accessible by wheelchairs, power points at an easy reach height, a 24-hour emergency call system and the usual luxury kitchens and bathrooms. Consequently, the actual accommodation of a private retirement property is not too different to any other property but when building retirement flats, the communal facilities and features will be crucial.
For many people considering retirement accommodation, it is the security and companionship of living in a retirement development that will be a driving attraction. When building retirement flats or bungalows the development will be enhanced by communal facilities such as a residents’ lounge, a laundry, communal gardens, scooter charging bays, visitor accommodation and a Development Manager to see to the day-to-day running of the scheme. The Development Manager, or Estate Manager, will be there to keep an eye on residents and call necessary assistance if required but, importantly, to organise social activities that brings life and community spirit. Do not underestimate this element when you are considering building retirement flats as the Estate Manager can create an environment where people want to live.
Additional security will be a reassurance to residents of retirement property with video door entry systems, close circuit TV monitoring and perhaps gated access to larger developments.
the development will be enhanced by communal facilities such as a residents’ lounge, a laundry, communal gardens, scooter charging bays, visitor accommodation and a Development Manager to see to the day-to-day running of the scheme
What Locations are Suitable for Building Retirement Flats?
As with any new property development, the key ingredient that will create a saleable and popular development project will be the location. For those considering retirement property the proximity to local amenities will be essential especially for those that do not drive or anticipate not driving in the future.
It is, therefore, important when building retirement flats to consider how the local geography and surroundings will attract potential buyers. Is the immediate terrain level for easy walking or use of wheelchairs and scooters? Are there local shops for immediate needs such as groceries and is there public transport nearby such as bus routes or train station? And, of course, what is there to do locally? When building retirement flats, you need to choose a location with the independence of the residents in mind, is there a local park, are there restaurants, maybe a golf course or other leisure facilities?
What to Consider when Marketing Retirement Flats
As with selling of any property, the marketing of retirement flats will need professional presentation that will give reassurance to potential buyers. It is worth being in mind that the decision maker in a purchase may be the son or daughter of the potential resident and so you have to convince them that they are making the right decision for their parents. High quality brochures, great CGI’s, well written descriptions, detailed specifications and explanations of services are all critical ingredients.
Property part exchange will also be a service that will attract retirement buyers as the time required and stress of selling an existing home may be too much for older age groups. There are specialist property part exchange companies that will be able to assist in this element. A well-furnished show apartment will cement the understanding of potential buyers and create the desire for their new home.
Finally, getting the right sales team around you will be essential. That sales team need to understand the concept of retirement property and why people buy in such a sheltered development. Many estate agents will often fail in this understanding and actually see the age restriction on a project to be market limiting, when actually it is exactly that element that bring the buyers. When building retirement flats the age restriction will usually be that residents will need to be over the age of 55-60 years (although the actual owners may be of any age and thus enables investors, trusts or families to acquire units).
Whilst there are leading retirement development specialists dominating the market, there is still room for other developers considering build retirement flats. Keeping the same balance of features, facilities and location can lead to a successful development project.
If you are considering building retirement flats and are looking for residential development funding, then contact us here for advice and support. We understand the retirement sector and can support you with introductions to suitable property development funders. To compare property development finance simply click here!