Old gold hits the mainstream

My blog of Thursday was clearly wrong in respect of the election-fatigue being suffered in Richmond Park! My old Mum and her neighbours turned out most diligently (53% is very high for a by-election) to give the government a bloody nose. For Mr Goldsmith’s huge majority in the general election to be overturned so spectacularly only goes to show how indignant those voters (at least) felt about Brexit.

And Mrs May would do well to indicate she is listening. The government must respond by being more gracious and magnanimous and inclusive toward the remainers. After all, we are only just short of half of the country. And my blog of 3 October, in respect of housing an increasingly elderly population may not have hit the political zeitgeist but it seems to have found some traction among forward-thinking people in the property industry. As the great Sam McClary so wisely commented, if the “alternatives” sector is 20% of the market, then perhaps it shouldn’t be termed “alternative” anymore. And the ageing debate hits all ends of the property sector, it isn’t just the end users we need to think about, it is also the ageing profile of investors.

In an attempt to tap into self-interest, and in the face of the fact that that huge amounts of property wealth are owned by the older generation, folk are drilling down on the distinction between the different types of retirement property, trying to work out exactly how to benefit from the strong opportunities provided by this market. One good friend to the regeneration sector, Malcolm Allan of Place Matters (see also blog 31 July 2013) wrote to me to say “I’ve been actively involved over the past two years in helping to set up a new business called Active Living International which is pooling the knowledge and experience of a number of people who have experience in designing, developing and managing places for older people to live active lives. Most of the team are from the US. The two Brits are myself and Richard Keeling, a former colleague of mine at Colliers International.”

Now, if the Yanks are taking this market seriously then we in the UK had better move a bit faster to shape up. Malcolm goes on to say “My role is providing advice and inputs on place-making and place branding to developers specialising in a variety of forms of housing from places that enable older people to live an active and fulfilled life through to places that offer a variety of forms of semi-sheltered accommodation through to medical care and support.” He goes on to offer me a call if I want to know more about the work and their plans for the future. I notice he doesn’t offer me a study tour to the States. Deep sigh. Perhaps another time. www.activelivinginternational.com

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