Sharp rise in demand for Retirement Communities

Older people seeking out company and the safety net of Retirement Communities




Sharp rise in demand for Retirement Communities

  • Older people seeking out company and the safety net of Retirement Communities

A survey of UK Retirement Community operators has found a “very significant” increase in the number of older people enquiring about and moving to Retirement Communities providing care and support (such as retirement villages or extra care housing).

85% of organisations surveyed by ARCO indicated that sales and lettings in the last month were higher than in the same period in 2019. 55% of respondents said that sales and lettings were at least 30% higher than in 2019, with 25% saying that sales and lettings were as much as 50% higher.

ARCO’s members include not-for-profit operators such as Anchor Hanover and fast-growing private operators such as Audley Group and Legal & General-backed Inspired Villages Group.

65% of operators stated that the most common drivers of this increase were a desire for more company and social interaction, and customers realising that the houses they were previously living in were not suitable anymore (also 65%). 60% of operators also indicated that demand was driven by a desire to access a support network ahead of another period of lockdown.

The Retirement Community sector is calling on the Government to create a Housing-with-Care Task Force to help unlock barriers to the expansion of the sector, as provision of housing options with on-site care and support in the UK is currently lagging far behind other countries.

Michael Voges, Executive Director of ARCO, said:

“These figures confirm a trend our members have been observing for a long time: there is a huge gap in the UK market for aspirational living options combining both social interaction and optional support services. An ever growing number of older people are reviewing their housing, support and care needs in the face of the current pandemic, and are seeking out Retirement Communities that enable them to live independently for as long as possible.”





For Further Information Please Contact

Gareth Lyon, Head of Policy and Communications, at or on 075350 88498


Notes to editors


  1. These findings come on the eve of highly anticipated research from the British Property Federation “Housing and Care for Older People: Defining the sector” which sets out ways in which the UK can deliver more specialist housing for older people to accommodate rising demand for more details go to:
  2. About ARCO: ARCO (the Associated Retirement Community Operators) is the trade association for operators of housing-with-care developments for older people. ARCO was founded in 2012, and is now comprised of 27 private and not-for-profit operators of Retirement Communities. ARCO represents approximately 50% of the Retirement Community sector. ARCO sets high standards, and all ARCO members must adhere to the externally assessed ARCO Consumer Code. ARCO does not represent the traditional retirement housing model where there are limited services and no care is available or care homes.
  3. About Retirement Communities: Retirement Communities typically consist of individual one or two bedroom flats or houses, located in a development with similar properties. Residents have access to a range of services and facilities, which will include optional on-site care, 24-hour staffing, and dining and leisure facilities, and may also include bars, gyms and craft rooms. Retirement Communities are also sometimes referred to as housing-with-care schemes, retirement villages, extra care housing, assisted living, or close care apartments. They sit in between traditional retirement houses (which have less extensive staffing and leisure facilities), and care homes, and can be in urban or suburban locations.