Skip to main content Skip to footer

Senior Living aspect of European healthcare market continues to attract new capital


Strong demographic demand and limited supply of customer options are the drivers of the capital to this sector

The nursing/care home component of European investment volumes superseded the trading of senior living assets for the first time in five years during 2020 and into Q1 2021, yet growth in demand for greater senior housing options will drive higher investment market share for these assets longer term.

The eight major European countries surveyed in this report are projected to see their 65+ population account for 25% of the national population, expanding by a collective 21.7 million from 2020 to 2035 by 2035. This is larger than the current combined population of London or that of Paris and Ile de France, creating a significant market force to be catered for, driving demand for various forms of senior living assets.

A growth market

Damian Harrington, Director, Head of EMEA Research explains: “We know the investment community continues to branch out into a range of niche and alternative asset types in the search for product and income. The proven long-term positive risk-reward balance of the senior living and healthcare sector in more mature markets such as the UK, alongside the significant growth in demand for assets and care services created by an aging population is attracting greater diversity of capital to this sector. The expansion of the 65+ population to 25% of our population by 2035 is multiplied by high levels of wealth, creating demand for more senior living options.”

Richard Divall, Head of Cross Border Capital Markets,  EMEA comments: “As baby boomers age into the senior living resident age cohort, they will expect and desire state-of-the-art facilities that focus on technology and the rapidly evolving delivery of health care. Senior living facilities that have designated space for on-site telehealth visits with trained staff are more likely to attract potential residents than obsolete facilities that do not. We are seeing an increasing weight of capital from North America, Asia and Europe targeting this sector,  although investors are wary of some risks associated such as obsolescence, financially weak operators and a demand wave that remains 5-7 years away”.

The senior living investment market

Colliers recent Global Investor Survey denoted that 21% of respondents earmarked an interest in investing into senior living assets in 2021. So far in 2021 investment volumes into the sector have expanded from a five-year average of 2.3% to 3.8%. Although volumes of around €7 billion per year are small in comparison to other sectors, the opaque and nascent nature of healthcare as a real estate investment class means the reporting of transaction volumes is undoubtedly lower than what is happening on the ground.

Healthcare diversification: hospital/care beds supply vs. demand imbalance

Although investment demand for primary and secondary healthcare facilities is lower, the sector also benefits from strong growth drivers. In most countries, there has been a declining level of national provision of hospital beds and nursing care over the last decade, with the private profit and not-for-profit operators making up the shortfall. Only in the UK, Poland and Denmark are the vast majority of hospital beds provided for by the state. In Germany, France, Spain and Italy this rate drops to around 60% on average and various investors and operators from these nations are clearly spreading their sphere of influence across the continent. Consumer spending growth on private healthcare and private healthcare insurance will continue to drive underlying demand for a broader range of healthcare assets, as the expansion of state provision is set to remain muted. This will create additional investment options for investors, albeit of a more complex and niche nature.   

Overall, longer-term risk vs reward characteristics of the healthcare sector in the UK highlight the attractiveness of the broader healthcare sector to investors. Given the need of the state to induce greater levels of private sector involvement to support growing demand for a variety of healthcare and senior living services and assets, investment volumes will surely expand across Europe.


View the report

Related Experts

Aleksandra Wasilewska

PR Director | EMEA


I have 16 year experience in PR and marketing communication. I worked among others for NFI Magna Polonia; Skanska Polska; Apsys Polska and Polish Council of ShoppingCentres. I implemented projects from the field of consumer marketing; market research; corporate communication; as well as brand building; positioning and evolution in Skanska  and Apsys. I am the author of numerous articles on PR and marketing communication.

View expert
United Kingdom

James Moy


London - West End

James has experience in valuing single trophy assets and large portfolios of commercial and residential investment and development properties across Europe and Africa.

Recently James has been acting for a number of financial institutions and private equity firms in coordinating performing, non-performing and commercial loan valuations across Europe. The portfolio lot sizes have ranged from €250 million to €1 billion.

Recently James has been very active in the Dutch and German real estate markets working closely with the Colliers network in these countries.

James also carries out annual and semiannual valuations for financial reporting purposes along with one off valuations for IPO listings.

James has specifically been playing a greater role in sourcing cross boarder business development opportunities and referrals for the immediate and wider Colliers business.


View expert
United Kingdom

Paddy Allen


London - West End

Paddy has over 16 years of real estate experience having spent his early career in European fund management before joining Global Student Accommodation as an early employee and leading the acquisition of £1bn of student accommodation across UK & Europe. 

Paddy advises a range of investors and developers on transactions, joint ventures and operations predominantly across student accommodation, build to rent and co-living. 

Paddy joined Colliers in 2021.

View expert