There are around 20 million seniors who stay alone and the number is expected to increase in the next 10 years. By 2026, India’s aged population will touch 173 million as estimated by The United Nations Population Fund & Help Age India. As COVID-19 has highlighted the elderly’s need for safety, care, well-being and companionship, the demand of senior living is going to accelerate further in the coming times. No wonder, this asset class is a significant opportunity for developers and investors alike.
Increased life expectancy, rise in nuclear families and more and more adults settling abroad, senior people living alone is the new demography. This age group does not require assisted living and full-time care but prefer to live in the company of same age peers in well-equipped and well-located retirement communities.
In the present pandemic and then subsequent lock down, seniors were living alone, struggling for basics and managing without house help. The COVID-19 contagion has made many of them rethink their decision to be on their own and many of them are contemplating moving to senior living facilities.In a stark contrast to the huge rise in independent seniors, senior living projects are a rarity in India. At present, there are only 55 senior living projects across the country.
Out of 55 senior living projects, about 60 percent are located in tier 2 cities and the remaining 40 percent in Tier 1 cities. As per ANAROCK report, Bhiwadi in NCR, Neral in Mumbai, Talegaon in Pune and Devanahalli in Bengaluru are some of the prominent locations around Tier 1 cities.
Prominent tier 2 cities include Coimbatore, Puducherry, Kodaikanal, Vadodara, Bhopal, Jaipur, Mysuru, Dehradun, Kasauli and Kanchipuram, among others that have about 33 seniors projects in total.
Coinciding with the demographic assumption that elderly population growth in the southern states is growing at a faster pace than the rest of India, the southern cities have a nearly 69 percent share of these projects.
As of now, the two major players present in senior living segment are Max India Ltd’s Antara Senior Living and Ashiana Housing.
“In May this year, it was 33 percent during COVID-19 times. Assisted living search volumes too have increased by 200 percent,” Money Control quoted Ankur Gupta, Joint Managing Director at Ashiana Housing Ltd and chairman, Association of Senior Living India (ASLI), as saying. “Many kids are calling for their parents to be taken care of here. We have leased out four assisted living units during COVID at a monthly rent of Rs 60,000 a month.”
On the back of rising demand from those above 60 years during the pandemic, both the senior living players are looking for major expansion. Ashiana Housing are launching a new phase in the next two months – one in Bhiwadi (100 units) and one in Chennai with 200 units.. The price of these units would be around Rs 35 lakh to Rs 70 lakh.
On the similar lines, Max India Ltd’s arm Antara Senior Living is planning to invest over Rs 300 crore over the next four years for its existing and new lines of businesses that include residences for seniors, a chain of assisted living care homes and services. Currently, they have facilities in Noida Sector 150 and in Dehradun.