Growing Demand For Retirement Housing As Household Costs Remain Top Concern

tweet CognatumA recent study by Towers Watson, published in Q1 2014* reveals that 57 per cent of current employees see the costs of running a household as their number one concern, leaving them uncertain whether or not they will be able to hold on to their family house once retired. Although this year’s latest data by Aviva suggests retirees are pocketing an extra £151 a month (totalling £1,373 compared to £1,222 in Q1 2013), energy bills and service charges such as gas, electricity and gardening maintenance costs are equally rising. As a result, experts foresee an increase in downsizers and growing demand for serviced properties such as Cognatum’s residences, which offer on-site estate managers and high annual savings.

The findings were supported by a report by Demos (Q4 2013)** showing that one out of four over 60’s in the UK is interested in buying a retirement property, equalling 3.5 million people nationally. With currently only 506,000 retirement units available, pressure is being put on local authorities to meet demand.

Henry Thornton, Chairman of Cognatum comments: “With the number of people aged 60+ expected to almost double by 2033 and with living costs continuing to grow, the increasing demand for serviced retirement properties is inevitable. Homeowners are starting to not only see the financial benefits but also appreciate the lifestyle aspects these types of properties are offering. Therefore, the new generation of retirees, no longer sees serviced properties as a compromise but as a solution for a financially stress-free retirement.”

Figures prepared by Cognatum show that compared to running a family house, a serviced property can reduce costs by up to a third, with annual savings as high as £4,600, giving residents additional income for a generally better lifestyle and an improved quality of retirement. Paid monthly, the charge covers services such as alarm management, window cleaning, garden/ground maintenance, building insurance, repairs and some utility costs.

Cognatum provides character properties with all the facilities of a modern home. Many of the residences within the portfolio have a rich history and are listed buildings or conversions such as former schools or breweries, featuring Buckinghamshire flint and local stone sourced in the Cotswolds.

Another main feature of Cognatum’s homes are the landscaped gardens, which are a key draw for many downsizers who often do not wish to compromise on this aspect but require assistance with the heavy maintenance involved.

* The Global Benefits Attitudes Survey from Towers Watson surveyed over 2,000 UK employees

**Title of report: Top of the Ladder

Cognatum manages over 60 private residential estates, set within friendly communities and predominantly located in Southern English counties such as Oxfordshire and Somerset. Most residences are situated close to shops and other amenities in historic market towns and villages, and boast extensive lifestyle and service facilities such as swimming pools, hiking opportunities as well as on-site estate managers for additional security – a particular benefit for those wishing to lock-up and leave.

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Notes to Editors

About Cognatum

Cognatum is an independent, not-for-profit company and was formed in 2010 following the merger of the English Courtyard Association and The Beechcroft Trust, managing 60 top private estates predominantly in Southern English counties, including sought after areas in Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire & Somerset amongst others.

Cognatum is a member of the Association of Retirement Housing Managers (ARHM). The board of directors is made up of a chairman, three executive directors and five other non-executive directors including two who are Cognatum property owners. In addition there is a panel of eight owners, the Residents Advisory Panel, who meet twice a year to comment and advise on Cognatum’s activities, policies and processes.