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Interest in healthcare real estate is increasing due to an aging population

The demand for healthcare real estate has been increasing for years, but due to the corona outbreak, a short-lived trend break is visible. In 2020, nearly 1 billion euros was invested in healthcare real estate. That comes close to the record year of 2019, when 1.2 billion went to this sector. According to real estate advisor Colliers, the corona outbreak will not lead to a downward trend, but will actually stimulate further growth.

2019 was also a record year for the European healthcare real estate market with a volume of almost 8 billion euros, and 2020 came close with more than 7 billion euros. That amount represented 2.8% of total investments in European real estate. Between 2011 and 2015, this percentage fluctuated around 1%, after which it started to increase. In the first quarter of 2021 it was 3.6% and the stretch is not over yet.

Europe is aging
The European population is getting older. In the eight European countries that are highlighted by Colliers in the study, the number of over-65s will grow by 21.7 million over the next fifteen years. This means that the over-65s will soon make up a quarter of the population. This not only creates an increasing need for housing for seniors, but also creates a demand for more different types of housing.
"The elderly not only live longer, but also want to stay at home longer and have more to spend," says healthcare real estate expert René Talboo. “If they can no longer manage independently at home, they look for intermediate forms between home and nursing home. It leads to all kinds of innovative housing concepts with a focus on encounters and experiences, such as complexes where the elderly and students live together and look after each other. We also see a further increase in private healthcare organizations.”

Huge shortage of housing
There will be a major challenge in the coming years to increase the supply of care. “There is a huge shortage in the Netherlands of suitable senior housing and nursing home places for the elderly with a heavy demand for care,” says Talboo. “This is also the reason for ActiZ, Aedes, VNG, ZN and the Ministries of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and VWS to join forces and build more than one hundred thousand extra homes for the elderly in the coming years.”
Its success stands or falls with the availability of locations, manpower and financing of care. ''Only through optimal, far-reaching cooperation, a lot of creativity and connecting the right parties can we come close to that goal. We really have to do it together," Talboo said.