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  • Writer's pictureClaudio Corrente

The rise of senior living: tailor-made houses for the elderly

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

Italy is adopting its strategy based on markets trends and demands.

The older population and the longer life expectancy reflect in real estate too. What would be the ideal house for an older, healthier and more autonomous population? Which kind of services would they require? Not only: why not leave the house that has become too big, as the sons had moved or after the spouse had passed away, and move to a place offering services and community while monetising the value of the house? Senior living originates from these considerations. In the US, senior living is already a consolidated reality: residential complexes preferably in a place with a warm climate (Miami is an example) dedicated to active and healthy old people, combining autonomy and the comfort of a wide range of services.

Pierre Marin, Jll Italia Ceo, explains: “We can say that this is an actual new asset class, a new investment frontier with a growing and well-identifiable demand”. Italian developers are very interested in this growing trend, even in a country with a very deeply-rooted family culture. The list of potential investors is already very long. Starting from Hines, which aims at investing in this segment 100 million euro. The Ceo Mario Abbadessa confirms: “we’re evaluating various opportunities and we expect to close the first deal by the end of 2019. The Hines strategy implies investing in central locations featuring high-quality services. We’re currently focused on Milan, as we see great potential in this market”.

Property funds are also keeping an eye on senior living. I3-Silver, constituted last year, is the first Inps fund dedicated to senior living. It’s managed by Invimit SGR and has a duration of 25 years. The fund has already completed its first operation in July concerning two real estate assets, the resort Lido Alberoni in Venice and the summer camp in Giulianova, for a total value of 10 million euro. Invimit will invest 24.6 million to recover two assets to make senior living apartments out of them. The operation is included in the Silver House project.

Invimit decided to bet on the target represented by old people to reconvert the Inps assets. 300 houses are already in process in Italy. They will be managed by specialised companies and will target the over-65 population. They consist of 30 or 80 Sq m apartments, for one or two people, featuring common areas and services similar to those of hotels. Invimit president Massimo Ferrarese confirms that “this is only the beginning”.

Korian is moving in the same direction. The French group operates in the management of senior living facilities. In Sanremo, Liguria, the company is about to launch together with a local partner (the Logorio family) the renovation of a former court for the creation of 80 apartments for old people. The investment amounts to 17 million, while other 20 million will be destined for the renovation of the former Board of Education offices in Sondrio to implement 70 apartments along with an assisted living facility.

Liguria is the region that best represents the ideal location for senior living projects. The region has been attracting elderly tourists for decades, and it aims now at becoming Europe’s Miami. According to a study by Assolombarda, the average expenditure of the over-60 is around 2,100 euro a month: 940 for accommodation and the rest for groceries and other expenses. It will go to the advantage of online shopping, as well as of local businesses. Therefore, the local market of commercial properties too might benefit from senior living.

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