With 98% of UK stock not meeting the specialist housing needs of older people, should over 50's be looking overseas for their 'third age'?

In the UK around 70% of older people own their own home yet only 2% of the UK's housing stock is classified as specialist housing for older people, as opposed to 9% in the USA according to well known retirement developers, McCarthy & Stone. Whilst this presents a big challenge for the UK housing market, The Villages Group could well provide the best solution, having introduced the concept of communities dedicated to delivering homes, services and support for "Active" 50+'s in France.

As the older population rises from 11 million to 17 million by 2035 the government is attempting to boost delivery of specialist housing for those in later life, as part of the 'new deal', in an attempt to help resolve this growing dilemma.

General-needs retirement housing as well as sheltered and extra care accommodation are just some examples of how the government plan to resolve the UK housing shortage. However, one nation managing to keep ahead of the retirement game with a high number of Certified Retirement Community programs in around 70 towns and communities could well provide the solution.

Located in six states, the USA's Retirement Community Program provides not only many forms of entertainment, transportation, food and other services all centered around a village-like community. Indeed, it is no surprise that these innovative active living 'Villages' in the USA are becoming an extremely popular property choice for those in their third age.

Danny Silver, expert in French real estate and MD of The Villages Group, comments,

"The British over 50's market provides one of the biggest opportunities for growth and it is important that their demand for housing is recognised. Active living 'Village' communities already popular in the USA are providing a practical alternative to this growing problem of inadequate housing and we at The Villages Group have acknowledged that active living Villages for the over 50's which provide services and amenities that encourage an active, happy and healthy lifestyle focussed around a strong community of like-minded individuals is definitely the way forward. "

With more and more people looking to move abroad for their golden years, seeking lower living costs and a better quality of life, France, one of the top ten expat countries in the world remains a popular destination affording a wonderfully warm climate, relaxed lifestyle, stunning natural beauty and easy access to the UK.

The concept for The Villages Group in France has taken four years of research and development to create the first active living resorts in the country dedicated to the over 50's. Designed for living, the Villages situated in three stunning French communities in Bordeaux / Perigord, Canal du Midi and Provence, offer one-level eco-friendly homes set within outstanding natural environments with full on-site amenities including tennis courts, indoor pool, gymnasium and quality entertainment programmes.

The Villages concept in France is set to be a success, offering a practical solution to the housing shortage in the UK as well as providing a fresh alternative and unique lifestyle choice for the active over 50's seeking the perfect lifestyle abroad.

For more information please contact The Villages Group on + 33 1 4007 8625, email villages@pdfparis.com or visit

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