The lure of bustling town centres with gyms, pubs, social clubs and activities are not usually what you might associate with retirees. However, today’s senior citizens are maintaining their urban connections, embracing an active life in retirement and considering their options more when it comes to where they live.
It’s often assumed that retirees either want to leave the country for sunnier climes, retreat to the countryside for a quiet life or remain in a large family home long after their family has flown the nest. However, that by no means tells the whole story.
Sigma Capital Group, which markets its build to rent homes under the Simple Life brand, create new build homes for all stages of life, from young professionals, to retirees who may be looking to downsize. For the modern retiree, particularly those lucky enough to be able to retire early, there is a growing trend in the desire to sell their homes in order to release equity, allowing them financial freedom and the chance to kick-back and enjoy the more important things in life, such as precious days out with family or holidays that may have previously been unattainable.
Location is of course important to anyone when considering where to lay their hat, but perhaps more so to retirees, who are likely to benefit from being close to local amenities and transport links, as well as friends and family. In fact, the ‘older’ generation is becoming seemingly younger, with many retirees still leading active lifestyles.
Victoria Hurcomb, Head of Marketing at Sigma has a host of experience marketing and researching for the retiree market. Victoria understands the drive that many of the older generations have when it comes to continuing to have a healthy lifestyle and social life. She said: “The number of tenants that we have who are aged 56 plus has grown by almost one-and-a-half percent in the last year, so we appreciate this is a growing market for us. Time and time again we find customers who are looking to take the complication out of their living arrangements and want to be sure they are within easy reach of the activities they enjoy. Because of this, one of the key factors that we take into consideration when choosing our site locations is transport; our sites guarantee a wealth of great transport links to local towns and city centres.
“We wanted to bring back the community feel to our sites, which has arguably been lost in modern times. According to the Office of National Statistics, those aged 65 and over spend most of their leisure time on their own – two hours and 39 minutes a day – but they’re more than twice as likely to chat to their neighbours as those aged 16 to 24, so it’s obvious that socialising is something that’s important to this generation. We host themed events in the communities throughout the year that are suitable for all ages, from a pizza night to a fun Easter Egg hunt, in order to keep the community connected.”
One tenant, Brian Mace, who is in his late 70s, sold his house in Croydon, Surrey almost 20 years ago and has rented ever since, eventually moving to a Simple Life apartment in Park Grange House, just a few minutes from Sheffield City Centre. He explains why the rental option is perfect for his needs. “Renting here is great for me as I have complete flexibility of where to live and I’m not tied to a long-term contract. On the other hand, I have the security that I can rent here for as long as I like.
"I enjoy being surrounded by trees and greenery yet being so close to Sheffield City Centre.”
One of the great benefits of Simple Life homes is the high-quality specification of the homes, with brand new kitchens and modern décor throughout, plus tenants have the freedom to be able to request to have pets and make the space their own.
What’s more, tenants have minimum upkeep on their homes, with a 24/7 handyman service that doesn’t come with a large bill at the end, and they even cut the grass for free!
Victoria concludes: “Our sites are real communities with real people and a whole mix of generations – proof that renting at any age, is now in many ways an aspiration and we will continue to pave the way in the PRS market.”