African property developers have been encouraged to invest in accommodation for senior citizens. A new report from leading regional real estate agency, Knight Frank has revealed that the continent’s aging population presents an opportunity that many developers have not yet explored.
“Not only is a growing young population presenting opportunities, but investors should also consider the other end of the age spectrum,” Knight Frank’s researchers said in their report.
Over the next 10 years the number of people in Africa aged over 65 year-old will grow by 19.5 million, or 43%.
Culturally, older generations have been looked after by their families. However, there has been a more recent move in many areas toward looking at purpose built retirement accommodation.
Knight Frank has found that the developments most in demand include a mix of lifestyle amenities and medical facilities. In South Africa, for example, many retirement villages have been built, some within larger gated communities and others as standalone secure villages.
The agency believes that one of the great business attractions of Africa is its dynamic, young population.
“As global workforces typically age and the tech savviness and creativity of youth remains in demand, we anticipate fully that corporate occupiers will seek to source such skills on the African continent,” said the agency.
Consequently, the amenity rich, vibrant workplaces that have characterised global tech occupiers will become a strong feature of African occupational markets.
While some developers are keenly focused on the youth, however, the older market remains relatively untapped.
Nonetheless, some developers such as Superior Homes, which has operations in Kenya, have been quick to capitalize on these opportunities.
The real estate company is working on a project dubbed the Fadhili Care at Green Park gated community, based in Kenya’s Athi River area.
In late 2018, one of the firm’s chief Marketers, Paul Adede, said that the company saw a need to come up with a project that mainly targets the elderly.
“It’s like old people are forgotten,” Adede commented at the time.
“We wanted to accommodate people with mobility issues; those from 60 years and above, disabled or a bit old but with sound mind. That’s the motivation behind Fadhili villas,” he continued.
The project’s Head Nurse Dorcas Bett stated that Fadhili Care’s role includes providing both home and health care services with access to qualified nurses on a 24-hour emergency call service, as well as a stand-by ambulance to support the elderly’s emergency medical needs.
Bett said the Fadhili Care facility will offer daily food delivery and house-keeping services in each residence.
Similar projects are evident in South Africa, though some of the continent’s developers have been slow to respond.
Many African nations have maintained a culture of taking care of the elderly without assisted living or opting to retire up country. Knight Frank believes that the advent of more senior living facilities may change these trends.
Though assisted is relatively new in some countries in Africa, research indicates that it has shown success in many countries in Europe and other Western nations.