THE number of properties being built specially for retired people is set to increase significantly by 2022, as the demand for this kind of home rises in the UK due to an ageing population, new research suggests.

Currently there are 16 people who would consider downsizing for every existing private retirement housing unit, according to new research from real estate firm Knight Frank.

Its retirement housing report says that the private retirement market is forecast to reach a value of £44 billion by 2022, a 50 per cent increase, and the number of units is set to rise by almost 30 per cent.

The analysis reveals that private development has accounted for 54 per cent of all new units delivered in this sector annually since 2000, and that is set to rise to 78 per cent of total delivery in 2022.

It also points out that the supply of later living homes is dwarfed by the rate at which the British population is ageing, as the number of people aged over 65 is forecast to increase by 20 per cent to 12 million by 2027.

Advancements in healthcare mean individuals are living longer lives and managing health conditions better.

The report calculates that there is a need for three million retirement living properties to house the number of people aged over 65 that would consider downsizing.

This is based on the assumption that 25 per cent of the over-65s in their existing homes would consider downsizing into some form of specialist retirement living.