Colliers recommends development of “retirement village” for senior citizens

Property consultancy firm Colliers International has recommended the development of a “retirement village” for the growing population of senior citizens in Singapore.

It has also suggested that a ratio/quota system be implemented to allocate Build-to-Order (BTO) flats to singles.

Colliers said these are two groups within the larger population that have become significantly prominent over the last 12 years. And they will play an important part in the housing market going forward.

These findings and recommendations are part of a White Paper – called the Minority Report – released by Colliers on Wednesday.

In the report, Colliers pointed out that Singapore’s total population has increased by 31.8 per cent to reach 5.31 million in 2012 from 4.03 million in 2000.

It then details significant increases in the number of senior citizens and singles in recent years.

For instance, Colliers said the government projects the proportion of residents aged 65 years and above to account for some 15 per cent of the population – or 600,000 residents – by 2020.

It added that by another 10 years, the population of seniors will increase to 960,000 or 20 per cent of the population.

Similarly, the number of one-person households has expanded by 85.5 per cent from 75,400 in 2000 to 139,900 in 2010.

This number excludes the singles staying with families, as well as households with no family nucleus (singles staying with other singles).

To cater to senior citizens, Colliers has recommended the development of a retirement village by the government and developers.

It added that the government could consider awarding sites on longer tenures – 99-year tenure or even longer tenures of 120 years or 150 years – for the development of a retirement village.

This will allow the developer to create a good quality product that caters to the elderly.

The developer can then sell the retirement village units to senior citizens on 15-year, 20-year and 30-year options, for which the units will revert back to the developer to re-sell to another set of retirees.

Colliers explained: “In this way, the economic lifespan of the retirement village units can be renewed over a longer period of time and the developer will be able to generate a reasonable return on the shorter leases.”

To address the growing population of singles, Colliers has recommended a ratio/quota system.

This will be based on a “suitable proportion that the government deems healthy” in the make-up of a typical residential block.

Colliers added that the Housing and Development Board (HDB) could also consider building studio apartments for singles, or “a shoebox HDB flat” qualified for singles during a BTO application exercise.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 26 Dec 2012

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