The analysis predicts that increasing institutional investment into the sector will give rise to a growth in a number of specialist seniors housing units in the UK including ‘retirement housing’, age-restricted market housing designed with the downsizer in mind, and ‘housing with care,’ which provides services, care and support as part of their proposition.

Over the next five years, Knight Frank forecasts a 48% growth in housing with care – increasing the total number of units to around 45,000. Retirement housing is expected to rise by 5% over the same period, equating to around 29,000 units.

“There are a number of clear trends emerging in the senior living space, driven primarily by demand from residents. Schemes in urban locations – such as Audley’s new Nightingale Place in Clapham – are becoming increasingly popular as more people seek a lifestyle-led offerings,” said Tom Scaife, head of senior living at Knight Frank. “Developments of mixed tenure are also becoming more widespread, as people discover the flexibility that comes from renting instead of buying in their later years.”

Lauren Harwood, head of senior living research at Knight Frank, added: “Currently, the forecast suggests that the projected delivery of seniors housing seems will not keep pace with our growing ageing population. A step change in new delivery is required if the UK is to reverse the huge imbalance between need and supply, which is only set to increase as people continue to live longer and more of the population enters the 65+ age bracket.”

In May, separate research by the property consultancy predicted that 6,500 care homes, which total 140,000 beds, are at risk of closure over the next five years.