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L&G enters retirement housing sector

by Released

Legal & General has entered the retirement housing sector in the United Kingdom with the launch of Inspired Villages Group.

The firm made a £40 million ($52 million) acquisition with two joint ventures between English Care Villages, an operator of later life living accommodation, and Places for People.

“Despite the fact that the United Kingdom is a great place to invest, 30 years of chronic underinvestment have led to poor productivity, inadequate real wage growth, market failures and low economic growth,” said Nigel Wilson, CEO of Legal & General. “Later living is a classic example of underinvestment; it has now been added to Legal & General’s £5 billion ($6.5 billion) U.K. direct investment program.”

With Legal & General’s long-term financial backing, Inspired Villages will acquire several sites per year. Creating vibrant villages on the edge of and within the United Kingdom’s towns and cities, it is looking to build where people want to live.

According to L&G’s Last Time Buyers report, there are 3.3 million Last Time Buyers looking to “rightsize” in the United Kingdom. The over 65s age bracket is growing five times faster than the working age population, yet only 7,000 homes were delivered to this sector last year making it the most undersupplied area of the housing market. Inspired Villages is aiming to provide more than 3,000 homes in the next five years.

“It is widely recognized that the United Kingdom is underprepared to support its ageing population,” said Phil Bayliss, head of Later Living at Legal & General Capital. “More than 3 million over 65s are looking to downsize and only 7,000 housing with care properties are being built each year. The United Kingdom suffers from a chronic undersupply of age-specific housing as well as spiraling health and social care spend. We believe our long-term capital can deliver significant housing, health and wellbeing benefits for those in later life.”

Established in 2009, English Care Villages has worked with Anchor Trust in developing Bishopstoke and Yateley in Hampshire, utilizing experience from Richmond Villages. Inspired Villages currently has two schemes, in Warwick and Cheshire, comprising more than 300 homes and a GDV of around £110 million ($143 million), creating a safe, secure, social and comfortable village environment in which residents can celebrate the freedom of later life.

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