Legal & General enters retirement housing sector

Legal & General is creating the Inspired Villages Group, formed out of English Care Villages, an operator developer of later living accommodation.

English Care Villages’ management team is joining Legal & General, following the acquisition of the assets of two joint ventures between English Care Villages and Places for People for around £40 million.

Inspired Villages is expecting to accelerate the evolution of the sector, creating around 3,000 new, quality homes over the next five years,

According to L&G’s Last Time Buyers report, the over 65s age bracket is growing five times faster than the working age population, yet only 7,000 homes were delivered to this sector last year making it the most under-supplied area of the housing market.

With Legal & General’s long term financial backing, Inspired Villages will acquire several sites per year. Each village offers a wide choice of homes that will suit different lifestyles. These single level homes will start from £250,000. The hub of the village is set around the village square with landscaped gardens, restaurants, gym, social activities and access to appropriate care.

Nigel Wilson, CEO of Legal & General, says: “Despite the fact that the UK is a great place to invest, thirty years of chronic underinvestment have led to poor productivity, inadequate real wage growth, market failures and low economic growth. Later living is a classic example of underinvestment; it has now been added to Legal & General’s £15bn UK direct investment programme.”

Phil Bayliss, head of later living at Legal & General Capital, says: “It is widely recognised that the UK is underprepared to support its ageing population. Over three million over 65s are looking to downsize and only 7,000 housing with care properties are being built each year. The UK suffers from a chronic undersupply of age-specific housing as well as spiralling health and social care spend. We believe our long term capital can deliver significant housing, health and wellbeing benefits for those in later life.

“Through our investment in Inspired Villages, we are partnering with a best in class management team who have the track record of delivery and a like-minded long term vision to create sustainable communities that support people through their later life. Our homes will provide our customers with an opportunity to use equity locked up in houses that are too big to manage to improve their quality of life and remain in their communities.”

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