Retirement properties

Bit of a niche thread, but something that got me wondering - near where my family lives, there’s a development being built of retirement homes - a bunch of apartments that are being specifically marketed for people who’ve retired. But how are you able to restrict buyers just to that group of people? What’s to stop a young couple for example buying a place there?

Have you seen the most recent series of Arrested Development?

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Lol of course not


These show up on sharetobuy property searches and give me false hope of an affordable housing option so therefore I don’t like them.


They just finished these when I moved out of Hackney. Only available for over 55s for no explicable reason:

Well this is why it piqued my interest - my brother still lives in the town and is all but priced-out - this development has been announced with what seem like very reasonable prices, and yet he won’t get a look in (I assume).

Yeah, because they’re allocated rather than open to offers they can set criteria on who gets them. It’s the same with normal sharetobuys as well, they prioritise people who live/work in the borough already etc.

I think when you snuff it the developers get a large slice of the action.

Because the over-55s don’t have enough privilege yet.

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Exactly the kind of thing I’m talking about! How does it work? Is it not some kind of discrimination to sell places with this kind of restriction?

They’re usually leasehold, and that allows the freeholder to put in a restriction on the age of any potential buyers (typically that they’re over 55 or 60 years old).

Can a freeholder put any kind of restriction they want in place? Must be be vegan? Must like jazz?

They are allowed certain exemptions to the equality act, and age-restricted housing is one of these.

Planning permissions often enshrine it as part of the permission for new developments too.

On the flipside, is there any law mandating developers to build %'s of ‘retirement’ housing like there is for ‘socially affordable’* housing?

*- I a lot of them pay a load of s106 money or whatever it is to avoid doing this

There seems to be a disproportionate amount of over-55s housing in South Manchester (more social housing), loads of it in what’s now properly gentrified areas and that. I’m sure lots of people need it, like, but i get the impression some people just sold the houses they paid a pittance for in the 70s, 80s, early 90s and lucked out on the waiting lists, sat there in their gated £80-a-week apartments with £400k stashed away.

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Huh. What are the benefits of this (outside of the developer’s pockets) that means they get exemptions? Surely all it does is concentrate more property with people who, on the whole, already have property?

No, there isn’t.

Local authorities are required to use population projections to assess housing need by age group, but there is not minimum requirement placed on individual developments. That’s party because those entering into retirement housing are more likely to be downsizing with the equity to step down the housing ladder, but also because it’s a lot harder to make retirement housing work within a mixed use scheme than it is to make social/affordable housing work within one, especially if there is residential care and/or facilities on site. Because of the way that their market works in terms of service provision and leasehold restrictions, they are nearly always operated by specialist companies in a self-contained block.

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It’s unusual for people to keep their existing property when moving into a retirement village, so I’m not sure that it concentrates property as such.

Part of the legal exemption is based on the practicality of the operators being able to deliver a service on site. They will also have restrictions to prevent people buying them as investment properties or buy-to-lets as well.

I won’t give a shit where I live when I’m about 70. Who cares? Basically need a room, maybe a studio style thing. Somewhere I can sit and fester on why my sons haven’t visited me in months.
Same for solo old people living in massive houses, kick em out.

Fair enough, cheers for this.