Singapore in need of senior housing projects: report

Expecting the ageing population in Singapore to increase to one in four by 2030, the city-state may be in need of private residential developments that cater specifically to seniors.

This comes as “most senior citizens want to live independently and age-in-place rather than move into a nursing home,” said Edmund Tie & Co in a report.

But unlike those living in public housing, who have various options to monetize their homes such as the Lease Buyback Scheme, Silver Housing Bonus Scheme and HDB’s two-room Flexi Flats, private homeowners have fewer options to extract housing equity.

Private home owners will have to downsize or move into HDB dwellings in order that they may unlock their homes’ equity.

And while elderly friendly features will command higher demand over time, the social stigma associated with senior housing may also deter buyers from acquiring units from such projects.

Moreover, building adult communities that provide amenities and space to meet the needs of older residents such as those in the US may not be ideal in land-scarce Singapore, given the high land cost.

“If Singapore were to build such active adult communities vertically, it would only be affordable to individuals who are in middle-upper income bracket. The buyers are likely to come from the retiring private home owners, who tend to have higher expenditure,” it said.

With this, Edmund Tie & Con sees a possible business opportunity in building co-living spaces for the retiring singles, where residents can “tap into amenities such as free internet and maid service, while making new friends and creating new social experiences”.

“With IoT and the shift towards a shared economy, we are likely to see more shared services in co-living arrangements to reduce the cost of living,” it said.

“Notwithstanding, there is a need for the elderly to liquidate their existing property assets to finance such living arrangements and live comfortably.”

 

This article was edited by Keshia Faculin.

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