Speaking at the session ‘Inspired solutions: the changing face of housing for an aging population’, Tom Lord, chief operating officer of Inspired Villages said a “very small proportion” of the property firm’s homes were bought using a mortgage.
He said most were purchased using the equity buyers already had in their homes.
Lord added: “If people were able to create mortgage products, anything that helps people move into these fantastic villages, this will of course [enable us to free] up the housing ladder and make more properties available.”
He also said he would welcome intervention from the government in the form of a rethinking of current planning permissions.
“At the moment no specific planning class for housing with care options for retirement villages.
“The support would really free up the ability for us to progress with our growth plans as well as the rest of the sector and ensure that in years to come there is enough housing for the older demographic,” he added.
A study from Knight Frank’s senior living annual review last year found that in the UK, there were 78,383 housing with care home options compared to a population of 12.4 million people over the age of 65, meaning the retirement village market serves just 0.82 per cent of this demographic.
Retirement village lending catch 22
When asked how to get over the “catch 22” of lenders refusing to lend on villages with deferred management fees (DMFs) and other legal clauses despite them being used to make the homes more affordable, Lord said a mortgage launched by Legal & General in 2018 showed a solution was possible but more options were needed.
He added: “Whilst there is currently not a great solution for older people in the mortgage world, we’d love to understand how this can be developed. I think it’s a question that we all have to work out together.”
You can register to watch the Later Life Lending Online Event here: https://www.mortgagesolutions.co.uk/events/later-life-lending-event/venues/register-online/
Presentations will be available to watch for 30 days.