Tag Archives: Senior Housing in India

NRIs demand affluent senior housing

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Track2Realty Global Survey

Track2Realty Survey:The developers have thus far failed to cater to the retired NRIs who wish to settle back to India. 

NRI, NRIs, Non Resident Indians, Indian Diaspora, NRIs investment in Indian property, NRIs investment in real estate, NRIs rules for investment, NRIs property search, India real estate news, Indian realty news, Real estate news India, Indian property market news, Realty Plus, Realty Fact, Track2RealtyThe Indian real estate developers are going over-board in capturing the fantasy of the rich Indians who are also expat professionals. But they seem to have gone completely off target when understanding the long-term housing needs of these Non Resident Indians (NRIs).

As a result, a very promising segment of housing that a vast majority of the Indians are looking for back home has not been addressed yet. However, no less than 88 per cent of the NRIs are ready to invest into senior housing.

Mind it! Senior housing that the expat Indians are looking for post-retirement stay is not just the apartment with a healthcare and assisted living. No less than 72 per cent of the NRIs want a lifestyle driven senior living housing solution in India.

With many of these retirement planning NRIs aware of the reality of children working & staying abroad or in other cities, 94 per cent of the NRIs looking for senior housing would not mind paying a high premium for that.  

“I have worked hard throughout my career. Once I decide to settle down in retired life back home the idea would be to enjoy more as time would not be a constrained. With reasonable savings for post retirement, I would not like to live an isolated life. I feel the developers need to understand that the world has changed for seniors who have decent money. Senior housing for me is just for old-age social security and medical purpose that does not compromise with luxury & lifestyle,” says Akshat Jakhar, an NRI from Ahmedabad.

The survey also tried to figure out as to why the existing and many upcoming senior housing projects could not attract the NRIs. Nearly three-fourth of the NRIs, as many as 72 per cent, feel the problem lies in gneralisation of the project.

There is a general sense of feeling among the NRIs that the Indian developers have failed to create a project that is customized for affluent seniors. Most of the senior housing projects are a mix for all kinds of senior citizens.

Location, of course, has been one of the deterrents for the NRIs to invest in the senior housing back home. 64 per cent feel the developers make a mistake of assuming that senior housing should be low-cost housing and hence far off location. Nearly as many, 60 per cent feel if the location is not well connected with the city then the developer alone would not be in a position to create all the lifestyle options in the vicinity.

“I went to see a senior housing in Hyderabad on my last visit to India. Frankly speaking, it gave me the ambience of an old-age home with modern amenities. If ever I wish to invite friends over there they would not be able to commute. Similarly, for me going to movies or other social events would not be possible. I can not think of living in a secure golden cage,” Prakash N Karnik, an NRI from Muscat points out.

This also raises a fundamental question about the future plans of the NRIs who are getting their children educated in foreign shores with planning of them getting settled over there. But contrary to the general perception of them staying overseas with the children, no less than nearly two-third, 62 per cent, are clear that they would like to settle back home post the retirement.

The NRIs who wish to settle back in India and are on the lookout for a lifestyle driven senior housing have their own reasons. 38 per cent of them carry a feeling of being in the hometown in old age; 36 per cent maintain quality of life over there is poor despite of affluence; while 26 per cent have their own family reasons.

Interestingly, a substantial section of these NRIs are even ok with a serviced senior housing that works on the leased rental model for lifetime. 46 per cent of the NRIs feel if the developer is offering a serviced apartment and charging a high premium as leased rent, as against buying the apartment, it makes better business model for either side.

Dire need of senior housing 

Quest for senior housing—88% Yes, 12% Depends

Aspiration with senior housing—72% Lifestyle Choices, 20% Top class healthcare, 08% Depends

Ready to pay high premium—94% Yes, 06% Affordable maintenance needed

Pain points—72% No project for affluent seniors, 18% Poor maintenance, 10% Not sure

Location concerns—64% Far off location a deterrent, 22% Connectivity with essential services, 14% Not sure

Disadvantage of distant location—60% Lifestyle options, 20% Medicare facilities, 20% Visiting relatives not possible 

Settling back in India? 62% Yes, 28% Depends, 10% No

Why settling in India? 38% Quest for hometown in old age, 36% Better quality of life, 26% Family reasons

What can elevate senior housing? 46% Serviced apartment with leased rental model


Affordability, location accessibility, safety and security will drive the need for senior housing in India

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Bottom Line: Land value, expertise in operations and maintenance of the communities will play a key role in Senior Housing, says Colliers Research.

Senior Housing in India, Elderly Living, Homes for senior citizens, Real estate news India, India property market, Track2RealtyAs Asian countries address the new realities of ageing crisis and increasing life expectancy, senior living is now becoming a next bet for investors. According to recently released Colliers Research report on Senior Housing Outlook 2018, countries such as Japan have grappled with an ageing population for some time, others are just beginning to realise that they will need to act quickly in order to address ageing-related issues.

Macau and Singapore, for example, will see their senior populations skyrocket by 301% and 195%, respectively, by 2050.  Even fast-developing countries where seniors are a smaller presence, such as India and the Philippines, will face difficulties, if many of their young people continue to work overseas and are largely unable to attend to the immediate needs of elderly parents.

In such scenarios, more infrastructure will be needed to cater to rising number of seniors who will be residing independently and are in need of different degrees of daily assistance and medical care.

“Few factors in Indian scenario such as concern in maintenance of properties during retirement days, restricted income source for seniors, rising crime rate against elderly people, emotional challenges such as lack of companionship and security, and other healthcare aspects should drive the need for senior housing in India in coming days. However, the market will take its own time to adopt the trend, considering the Indian system of living”, says Ravi Ahuja, Senior Executive Director, Mumbai & Developer Services at Colliers International India.

As per Census of India, 2011, India had about 98 million elderly citizens, which are likely to grow in future. Also, the overall life expectancy is also on the rise giving the urge to address retiree’s demand in the country. 

According to Colliers Research, the major senior housing categories that have emerged this far can be summed up as housing developments for active seniors, in-home care, assisted living facilities and skilled nursing facilities. Developers such as Ashiana housing, Brigade, Athashree, Vedaanta are experimenting with these projects. While the senior living market is miniscule, the demand will grow in future, owing to factors such as growing awareness among seniors about the benefits of living in senior housing and numerous facilities offered by them.

“Most of the living projects in India follow outright sales, pay-back schemes and lifetime lease models at present.  However, factors like affordability, location accessibility, safety and security, land value, involvement of expertise in operations and maintenance of the communities, etc. will be the key factors driving the success of senior living communities in India in coming days”, says, Surabhi Arora, Senior Associate Director, Research at Colliers International India.

At present the senior living projects are making their advent in Indian cities such as Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune, Kochi, Coimbatore, etc. 

Housing developments for active seniors

Housing developments for active seniors tends to be the most prevalent offering, since it requires no or minimal specialist care facilities, and is therefore easiest for developers to build. Such developments are typically restricted to those 55 or over and provide several single- or multi-family housing options for retirees.

They tend to attract mobile, independent seniors with facilities such as clubhouses, golf courses and tennis courts as well as social and recreational programs. Services such as housekeeping, transportation and maintenance may be included in the standard fees.

In-home care

Individuals who lack the desire or resources move to a designated facility and receive short or long-term care that they need in the comfort of their own homes. Care services can include anything from arranging entertainment to assistance in taking medication or hospice supervision. As services tend to be part-time, this is the lowest-cost option, but must often be supplemented with family members or friends able to play the role of caregiver on a more sustained basis.

Assisted living facilities

Assisted living developments have trained and licensed staff to assist seniors who lack options for in-home care but have reached the stage where they may require help with everyday activities such as cleaning, preparing meals or taking medications.

Skilled nursing care facilities

These developments offer round-the-clock care for individuals who suffer from chronic health conditions that are too complex to be treated at home or in assisted living developments and have highly-trained staff and facilities spanning areas such as physical, occupational and respiratory therapy. Facilities may include a small number of assisted living and/or Alzheimer’s/dementia units.

Senior housing USP of Bhiwadi

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News Point: Bhiwadi has carved its niche as the best market for senior housing.

Senior Housing in India, Elderly Living, Homes for senior citizens, Real estate news India, India property market, Track2RealtyWhen Ramakanth Sharma bought an apartment in a senior housing project in Bhiwadi it was more to do with the affordability than the concept of senior housing. As a matter of fact, the friends and family advised against buying an apartment with such a concept that gave an impression that their children would refuse to take care of them in future. Sharma himself had no plans to settle over there and it was just an investment that his pocket allowed.

Between 2007 to 2004, the developer on his part continued to invite him on various community engagement programmes at the project. Even though there were initially only a few senior citizens shifting prmanently, he really liked the idea of seniors having a get together. And hence, when his son took up a job in the USA, he decided to pack his bags and move to Bhiwadi’s senior housing project.

It has nevertheless not been an easy move since his wife carried the impression of living in an old age centres. However, soon the couple understood the advantages of the senior citizens having the luxury of living a dignified life in their own homes, with a neighbourhood of the same age group and with all the necessary facilities like the healthcare etc available on the door steps.

Bhiwadi, as a matter of fact, has been the first town to conceptualise what is the most need-based housing in India. Facts speak for themselves. There are 98 million people over 55 with a steady growth of 3.5 per cent per annum. In terms of market numbers, in an analysis of 135 urban cities with a total population of 223 million and 52 million households, as many as 12.8 million families have senior citizens.

Bhiwadi facts

Bhiwadi first mover in senior housing segment of India

Affordable senior housing & quality lifestyle catalysts to success

Bhiwadi experiment was globally discussed for providing lifestyle to senior citizens

Bhiwadi success dispelled the myth of senior housing being old age homes

The old age dependency ratio stands at 12.6 from 10.6 in 1991. According to the United Nations data, India would have 118 million people over the age of 60 years by 2017.  The market size of retirement homes is expected to be pegged at Rs 4,000 crore by 2018.

Some of the developers in Bhiwadi could spot this opportunity and made it a case study in India. Thereafter a number of developers experimented senior housing in various parts of the country. However, only a few locations like Bhiwadi, Coimbatore, Pune could be case studies due to proximity with the main centre and better climatic conditions, along with the execution of the project in right spirit.

Brotin Banerjee, MD and CEO of Tata Housing nevertheless feels that the concept of senior living is slowly gaining traction, but unlike in the West it will take a bit longer for this market to mature here. However, with the breakdown of the traditional concept of families, and with an increase in disposable incomes, this senior community is gradually inclining towards this idea and accepting it without any social stigma attached to it. Today’s globe-trotting consumer is demanding for an active lifestyle post retirement.

“Buyers for senior living homes are self-sustained retired/about-to-retire people (or in the age group of 50 and above), those whose children reside away from them or outside India, senior NRIs accustomed to such facilities in developed countries and now returning to their home country. Research suggests that demand for such senior homes is over three lakh units in urban centres and currently, only 3,000 units are available in the market,” says Banerjee.

One fundamental reason why senior housing succeeded in Bhiwadi is the price point. The fact remains that all the senior living projects in Bhiwadi are positioned at the affordable segment, bearing in mind the fact that the end consumers are senior citizens with limited resources and no sources of regular income.

As Ramakant Sharma points out, “If such projects would be costly, most of the retired seniors would not be able to afford. I think the way Bhiwadi shaped up as an affordable market and the developers had been foresighted to spot the living solutions for people like us, it became a success story.”

Call it the emerging lucrative market or simply making a market differentiator  by providing house for a cause, but senior living has definitely been the market identity for Bhiwadi. And Bhiwadi model is today being replicated across the country. The data by Jones Lang LaSalle India indicates there are about 30 more senior living projects in the pipeline in India. Of the senior housing projects, seven are in Bangalore, three in Chennai, three in Goa and various single projects in other cities.

The senior living sector in India

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Senior Housing in India, Elderly Living, Homes for senior citizens, Real estate news India, India property market, Track2RealtyThe senior living sector in India is at a crossroad.

With the relaxation of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) restrictions on investments in the sector and increasing population of seniors (over 100 million seniors in India at present) to cater to, there clearly exists an untapped opportunity for investment and development in this sector.

Unlike western countries where the senior living industry has gained maturity, India provides an opportunity to developers, service providers, healthcare players and operators to create solutions specific to India while leveraging learning from across the world.

In the white paper ‘Senior Living Sector In India’, JLL India showcases seniors in India as a demographic segment, brings out key trends in senior housing in India, assesses overall market potential, focuses on best practices, and brings out a pan-India preview of senior living projects in India.

The emerging need for senior housing in India – staying ahead of the curve

Although India is still younger than USA and Japan from a demographic standpoint, the process of ageing has begun in the country. It is anticipated that the elders in India would increase both in absolute numbers and relative strength, indicating a gradual swing to a senior population.

As per Census of India projections, the percentage of elders as a percentage of total population in the country would jump from 7.4% in 2001 to 12.4% in 2026 and touch 19.7% in 2050.

In 2011, India had about 76 million seniors above the age of 60 years, and it is expected that this figure will grow to 173 million by 2025, further increasing to about 240 million by 2050.

This marked increase in elderly population would involve a change in an important sociological aspect, the ‘old age dependency ratio’. Interestingly, by 2050, it is estimated that the number of dependent adults in India will be at par with the number of dependent children. The population pyramid shows that the movement of the bulge in the population northwards to higher age cohorts with time.

Besides growth in sheer numbers, seniors are also evolving as a customer segment and have needs and wants, which are different from seniors in earlier times. A significant section of seniors today are independent, financially stable, well-travelled, socially connected, and as a result have well developed thoughts of how they want to spend time after retirement. There is, today, a larger percentage of educated seniors than ever before in India.

Seniors now consider life after retirement as an opportunity to spend more time with families, pursue hobbies, develop new interests or even continue working or starting a new career.

While it is true that the seniors are more independent and better equipped to take decisions post their retirement, it is equally correct to say that their needs are not rightly understood and therefore not met appropriately by both public and private sector at large. The senior community presents a tremendous opportunity to service providers.

Senior housing segment in a global context

As per the findings by National Family Health Survey in 2005-06 (NFHS-3), every three out of five households (about 63%) in India are nuclear. Increasing life expectancy, decreasing fertility rate, lower mortality rates and an overall enhancement of the standard of living across the world has contributed to people living longer than ever before.

In 2008 as per the National Institute of Aging (USA), it was estimated that the senior population (above 60 years of age) in the world was 506 million. The population of seniors across the world is projected to become 1.3 billion by 2040.

This increase in population in the segment will bring with it unique socio–demographic situations which have not been experienced by society at large. For the first time in human history in 2021, the total number of seniors will be greater than the number of kids below 5 years of age.

While developed nations will still have a large number of seniors, the rate of growth in senior population in developing nations will be double that of developed nations. The 80+ age segment is actually the fastest growing segment amongst population cohorts in several nations.

China and India are projected to have almost 50% of the 1.3 billion worldwide seniors by 2040. Seniors need specialized housing catering to their needs. What started in early 19th century in the USA to cater to housing for seniors mainly through the interventions of religious groups and charitable bodies is now recognized in the USA as a prominent asset class.

Senior housing is a USD 60 billion industry worldwide. In USA alone there are over 520,000 senior housing units with additional 16,000 units under construction.

While the sector commands large numbers, it is also important to get a sense that only about 12% of seniors in the USA live in formal senior living projects. Compare to this Australia has 4% as seniors living in such projects.

In contrast to senior living in the west, the concept of housing for seniors as a specific asset class in India continues to have social stigma associated with it which has restricted the growth of the sector at large.

There is, however, now a growing realization amongst urban households, who in the last 20 – 25 years have witnessed a marked increase in nuclear families that families are no longer equipped to take care of their aged family members.

In this changing social environment, concepts such contemporary retirement resorts are becoming acceptable and popular. While this has prompted developers to come up with projects targeting the independent seniors, the country is yet to see an integrated continuing care retirement communities catering to end to end needs of senior citizens.

By: Manish Kumar, Managing Director – Strategic Consulting, JLL India