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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Demand for senior housing on the rise

SERI KEMBANGAN: The demand for specialised housing to cater to senior citizens is increasing, thanks to the global ageing population.

Bernard Tan ... ‘The industry is still at its infancy.’

Gray & Perkins Lawyers, Sydney, partner Bernard Tan said as the ageing population has dependency on fewer children (particularly in China), there are new opportunities to build housing for the senior citizens with age-appropriate features.

“According to the source that we have from the United Nations data, one out of 10 persons is now 60 years or above and, by 2050, one out of five will be 60 years or older. By 2150, one out of three will be in this category.

“With this in mind, the trend towards building specialised housing for them is increasing,” he told the World Chinese Economic Forum with the theme, Building Business Linkages, Charting New Frontiers, at the Palace of the Golden Horses yesterday.

Tan, speaking on the subject, Global Trends in Property - Designing, Branding, Developing Iconic Projects, said such development should provide for “ageing in place” where location to amenities such as meals, hospital and nursing homes and on-site care services were included.

“The industry for specialised housing accommodation for older persons in Asia is still at its infancy. While there will be a strong demand for housing, government policies on such development have yet to be determined,” he said.

For the Malaysian scene, he said the issue of different cultures and religions needed to be considered and also the role played by the Government.

Residential housing developments would be impacted by the ageing population and developers would have to vary designs and marketing to attract an older demographic market, he said, adding: “In my view, developers needs to work closely with the Government and religious organisations to create a viable model for senior housing.”

By The Star (by Edy Sarif)

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