This may be followed by the plight of those who have bought starter properties, but now want to move into family homes so that they can have children. What is now starting to come to light is that both of these problems are connected to the problem of lack of supply of specialist retirement accommodation for older people to downsize into thus freeing up family homes for people who actually have families and starter homes for people just starting out in life. The U.S.A. and Australia are currently leading the way in the provision of high-quality, dedicated retirement accommodation and the U.K. now has the opportunity to learn from their example by encouraging investment in new care homes.
Updating the image of the care home
Perhaps one of the reasons why care homes have only recently started to catch on in the UK is because for many years they suffered from their association with Victorian workhouses. Even though these were officially closed in 1930, many of them continued, in much the same vein for many decades and hence are still (just) within the living memory of many of today’s older people. Fortunately, however, international travel and the internet have opened people’s minds to the fact that times have changed and that it is more than possible for care homes to be, not just acceptable, but highly desirable.
Since residents no longer need to commute to work, care homes can be situated in places of outstanding beauty offering residents the opportunity to enjoy nature along with a wide range of activities. Of course, the locations of high quality care homes are generally chosen with the needs of visitors in mind, so residents can still enjoy the company of their loved ones. While the interiors of the buildings will be designed with the needs of older residents in mind, they will still be full of modern conveniences, from that all-important broadband Wi-Fi to fine dining options.
Blending the benefits of residential and commercial property
The buy-to-let market can still offer some interesting and profitable opportunities, however at the present time, taxation and legislation relating to it, are arguably being driven more by political sensitivities than economic realities. Over the long term, it is to be expected that the dust will settle, as it generally does, but in the meantime, it’s quite understandable that many investors will be actively looking for alternatives which provide maximum yield with minimal fuss. Care home investments are a hugely attractive option since they are regarded as commercial property and hence are covered by separate rules.
Even those who wish to continue in residential buy-to-let could benefit from branching out into care home developments since private investors typically buy shares or single care suites in a care home rather than a complete development, which means that they can avoid needing to take out a mortgage. This fact could be very useful for people who wish to avoid the hassle of dealing with the new PRA regulations, making care home investments an attractive option to traditional buy-to-let.