Housing sector

India’s aging population presents the housing sector with a tremendous opportunity for growth

The demand for senior living units is currently estimated at just 5.6 lakh, but it is expected to reach 1.2 million households by 2025, too large a number to ignore from a business perspective.

India may be a nation driven by its youth, but the proverbial wheels of change are already in motion, and soon we would also have a huge elderly population to support.

According to a report by the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation, there were nearly 138 million elderly people in India in 2021. Additionally, 5.6% of India’s population was in the age bracket of 60 or older in 1961; this proportion increased to 10.1% in 2021 and is expected to increase further to 13.1% in 2031, according to official data.

These numbers continue to grow, increasing the share of the elderly in India’s total population. In fact, the population of senior residents is expected to grow by 130% between 2020 and 2050 to reach 320 million from the current 139 million.

This tremendous social transformation is generally viewed with concern. Our country would soon have more people in need of help than people actively involved in nation building.

While policies centered on the elderly are plentiful, India, despite being a welfare state, has yet to reach the level of proficiency shown by developed countries in supporting its elderly population.

While it is undeniable that the responsibility factor is present, this change, which could easily be called one of the greatest social changes of the 21st century, also presents a bouquet of opportunities for various sectors, in particular the labor market. lodging. This is where the private sector comes into play.

This social change presents a mega business opportunity for the sectors engaged in providing various types of goods and services to the elderly population of the country, besides giving them a chance to participate in nation-building.

Senior residence: An emerging asset class?

That India’s housing sector needs to apply itself more diligently to cater to this high-potential buyer segment has become evident after the coronavirus pandemic. At a nascent stage when tragedy struck in early 2020, there has been more interest in the lives of older people in India ever since. So much so that many real estate developers in the country have started to cater to this segment, which is in dire need of private senior-friendly housing.

However, a lot needs to change before retirement homes become a full-fledged asset class in real estate. Unfortunately, the seniors’ residence has not received the attention it deserves.

Although it is safe to say that there has been an increase in the number of senior-focused projects in India since 2010, only a handful of property developers currently cater to this segment. Few developers would be willing to invest in such projects due to their limited social acceptability. As a result, one would find only a handful of builders planning to launch retirement communities that would take care of all people’s needs during their sunset years.

Residence for the elderly: measures of demand

Social perception notwithstanding, the demand for elderly living units is currently estimated at only 5.6 lakh, but it is expected to reach 1.2 million households by 2025, a number too large to be ignored by one. commercial point of view, if nothing else. Considering the fact that by 2050 seniors will outnumber young people across the world for the first time, they should be kept at the forefront of decision-making in developers’ boardrooms.

Even though the demand for such houses is expected to come mainly from the high income groups, developers also need to ensure that they are viable to the end user to cover more segments. The quality of amenities and facilities would be a determining factor in the success or otherwise of a retirement home project. For its part, the government will have to announce dedicated policies to make this asset class a success for all parties concerned.

(By Amit Masaldan, Business Leader, Housing.com)