Senior living, sustainability and the need for innovation were all topics at a discussion hosted by communications consultancy Social.
‘The changing needs of residential customers’ roundtable was dedicated to examining how the residential market is shifting as the country continues to adapt to post-pandemic life, the push to build sustainably grows, and the number of senior citizens continues to increase.
The participants were:
- Zac Worthington, head of sales, Laurus Homes
- Shannon Conway, residential director, Glenbrook
- Tony Cahill, executive director property, Livv Housing Group
- Chris Loxton, development director, Churchill Retirement Living
- Jamie Blennerhassett, managing director, Hassett Homes
- Tony Whittingham, associate director, Social
The discussion was chaired by Mary Parsons, regeneration and partnerships director at Lovell.
Social is an integrated communications consultancy that tells stories, engages people and improves lives. Social has worked with Barratt Homes, McArthur Glen Designer Outlets, Mace, Marketing Manchester, The National Lottery and more.
Talking points from the roundtable
Housing for over 55s
Chris Loxton: “In every two elderly people that move into retirement accommodation, that gets one first owner onto the housing ladder… There’s a lot of opportunity there for the recycling of existing housing stock. There’s evidence that says that one in four over 60s would like to consider moving into a retirement living accommodation. But there’s just not the supply outlet.”
Tony Cahill: “There needs to be a much more diverse approach in terms of people’s options for living. And in some cases, that means actually staying in their home, throughout the life even in today’s life.”
Shannon Conway: “There is a huge demand from empty nesters to live in the city centre. But it’s it hasn’t been proven. And because it hasn’t been proven, it just adds another layer of risk to developers. I think BTR allows you the flexibility, actually, to sit to challenge that… it’s a less risky way of testing that market.”
Need for innovation
Jamie Blennerhassett: “If you want to go and choose a new car, you’ve probably got about eight different manufacturers to go to – all of which are all different, and of which you all have about 10 models with 20 different colour choices and different seats. But in the house building industry and the property industry, I assume most of us can probably determine the difference between a Taylor Wimpey and a Barratt and what else, but to the average Joey on the street can’t tell… I don’t think there’s any sort of pressure on the Nationals and volume housebuilders to really drive innovation.”
Zac Worthington: “You’re not going to get the entire country’s house building operation to kind of all agree on how to go forward because, no bones about it, it’s going to cost money. And then people are looking to organizations, not just housing, but any sort of commercial product, to see what their agenda is and make an informed decision about whether they would like to buy that product or not.”
Tony Whittingham: “If we can kind of raise the consumer awareness of building a sustainable way that it’s good that then drives demand in the market that helps the developers is to push through the changes that are needed.”