BLOG: Region's Built Environment must up its game in response to rising 'senior living' development | Wates

“Wates Construction Home Counties is nearing completion of Signature Senior Lifestyle’s luxury care developments, Sunninghill in Berkshire and its new Camberley development in Surrey.

In my view, an increase in investment in high-end retirement developments across the south must be met with innovation and adaptability if the senior living sector is to realise its emerging potential.

There has certainly been a rise in investment in the senior living sector across the south, a clear indicator of the significant increase in market demand for residential developments that offer a high-end lifestyle.

The needs, tastes and aspirations of buyers in this market have evolved in recent years and the sector’s developers are responding by investing in new and unique projects. Our work with Signature Senior Lifestyle in the region has given us perfect insight into how the market is adapting and just how developers are catering to changing customer appetites.

Within the built environment industry, a contractor’s number one priority for their client is to ensure that market changes are accommodated within the design and build strategies for new developments and this is true of every sector in which Wates works.

The distinction here is that the quality of senior living developments currently being brought to market is a relatively new trend for the south and it’s a market that has excellent economic promise for the region. Contractors must be at the top of their game to ensure that this potential is realised.

In the case of Signature’s Camberley development, Pembroke House, the vision has been to create luxury residential apartments that offer 24/7 specialist care alongside leisure amenities. It is about blending what the market wants, in terms of lifestyle, with what the market needs, in terms of care, and this is not an easy balance to strike.

Preparing to hand over this fantastic scheme in the coming weeks is a perfect time to reflect on what has been achieved and subsequently what we can take forward in terms of lessons learned. The reality, however, is that senior living developers are striving to create developments that offer a level of luxury that is distinctive and that there in lies one of the biggest challenges, but also one the biggest opportunities, for the construction industry. Embracing innovation, being adaptable and accommodating the senior living market’s increasing need for uniqueness will be the key to unlocking its real potential in the south.”

(Ian Vickers is Managing Director of Wates Construction Home Counties)

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