Key Sector Facts

An overview of the growing Integrated Retirement Community sector

A new and growing sector

  • There are currently around 70,000 Integrated Retirement Community units in the UK, providing homes for just over 90,000 older people.
  • The sector is emerging and is currently much smaller than the traditional retirement housing sector without onsite care and support, which has around 440,000 units, and care home beds, which stand at around 456,000.   

  • Only 0.6% of over-65s currently have the opportunity to live in an Integrated Retirement Community in the UK, compared to at least 5-6% in New Zealand, Australia, and the US.

  • But there is the promise of exciting growth ahead. With the right support and policy changes, the housing with care sector is aiming to provide a home for 250,000 older people by 2030. We believe this should be the minimum target of our ambitions.


Why we need more Integrated Retirement Communities 

Improving health and wellbeing

  • Physical health increases, with owners and residents experiencing a 75% increase in the amount of exercise done, and a reduction in falls within two years.

  • Mental health and wellbeing improve, with a 24% decrease in anxiety symptoms among owners and residents, and only 1% saying they often feel isolated.

  • Costs relating to GP, nurse, and hospital visits reduce by 38%, and for owners and residents who are frailer by 51.5% within 12 months.

  • Average unplanned hospital stays go down from 8-14 days to 1-2 days. A total of £5.6bn in cost savings will be made for health and social care if 250,000 over-65s live in housing with care by 2030.


Strengthening the housing market

  • 76% percent of owners and residents release at least one bedroom when they move into Integrated Retirement Communities, with an average of 1.25 bedrooms released.
  • 562,000 bedrooms could be released to the general market by 2030 as a result of older people moving into an Integrated Retirement Community.
  • 43% of housing equity is currently is owned by over-65s – something the Integrated Retirement Community sector can help unlock and share more evenly across generations.


Boosting the economy

  • Each new Integrated Retirement Community of around 250 units creates approximately 63 permanent jobs in areas such as housing management, care, grounds maintenance, leisure and retail, domestic services, and marketing and sales. This is a ratio of one permanent job created for every four units built.
  • For every 50,000 homes built, approximately 75,000 direct construction-related jobs are supported.
  • If the sector achieves its aim of 250,000 people living in housing with care by 2030, there will be over £70bn of turnover and £40bn of investment.