Towns and cities across the UK are set to benefit from an upsurge in cash-rich Baby Boomers who are “boomeranging” back from the countryside to embrace a more urban lifestyle.
This is a reversal of the usual trend, according to a survey conducted by Retirement Villages Group (RVG) with an estimated 4.9 million set to make the move by 2033 .
In a survey of 2,000 over-65s, it was found that almost a third (31%) – out of a projected 15.8 million by 2033 – want to live in an urban area in the future. Over a quarter (28%) already live in a connected area. The findings show a new wave of this generation – “Baby Boomerangs” – are searching for a busy, active retirement, with one in five (19%) considering a move now.
With the population of over-65s set to rise by over 2.5 million in the next 10 years, RVG is calling on the government’s Older People’s Housing Taskforce, local councils and wider housing industry to ensure the UK is building enough age-appropriate housing on brownfield sites to cope with this rising demand. An extra 50,000 homes would need to be built each year to cope with an ageing population alone, data has shown.
Will Bax, CEO of Retirement Villages Group, commented: “We are seeing a change in attitude towards retirement and later life. Inevitably a high proportion of our customers now want to live connected to a vibrant community and the amenities that help them stay independent and active. That’s why we’re backing ARCO’s call for an integrated retirement community in every town.
“We want to put our elders back at the heart of our towns and cities, regenerating our town centres and urban neighbourhoods to create age-balanced communities, with more interesting, aspirational choices that create a pull factor. In turn, this will help free up all the old family homes currently lived in by older folks to the benefit of the wider housing market.”
Michael Voges, chief executive of ARCO (Associated Retirement Community Operators), commented: “This research from our member, Retirement Villages Group, chimes perfectly with ARCO’s vision for An IRC in Every Town, set out in our Manifesto earlier this year.
“All older people should be able to access housing that meets their needs, wherever they live and wherever they would like to move to. Increasing the provision of Integrated Retirement Communities will be vital to addressing this, and as Retirement Villages Group argue, growing provision in urban settings could also provide a much-needed shot-in-the arm for towns and cities.”