Unprecedented Surge in Demand for Senior Housing Anticipated as India’s Elderly Population Seeks Specialized Care

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    Eldercare market carry immense potential, Rs 500 million investment not enough

    In a remarkable shift, India’s real estate landscape is gearing up for a significant surge in demand, with a particular focus on senior housing. Currently, the delivery space is abuzz with 50 projects in progress from the top 12 players, and an astonishing 60% of these ventures are strategically positioned in tier 2 cities, disclose

    This surge in demand is not merely a trend; it’s a forecasted boom driven by the country’s rapidly expanding elderly population. Projections indicate a staggering demand for approximately 2 lakh units of senior living accommodations in the coming years, promising a housing revolution for seniors nationwide.

    Interestingly, the spotlight of this surge is shining brightly on tier 2 and 3 cities, where the demand for specialized housing for seniors is expected to outpace the available supply. This presents both challenges and opportunities for real estate developers eager to tap into this burgeoning market.

    “The senior care industry in India holds immense potential, but we acknowledge the challenges it faces, be it regulatory frameworks or infra development. We are dedicated to advocating transformative approaches that prioritize well-being and dignity of senior,” said Adarsh Narahari, Chairman, Association of Senior Living India (ASLI) at the 4th ASLI Ageing Fest in the national capital.

    Notably, the United Nations projects that India will become home to one of the world’s largest elderly populations by 2050, with an estimated 319 million individuals aged 60 and above.

    This will be accompanied by a transition from a period of joint families, high mortality, high fertility rate, high burden of communicable diseases and relatively low life expectancy, to, a period of nuclear families, low mortality, fewer children, high Non-Communicable Diseases, and relatively high life expectancy.

    This poses a major challenge to the institutional readiness in setting up and maintaining support systems for the elderly, with their healthcare and social needs taking center stage.

    Morgan Stanley’s Executive Director, Neha Saraf said that the eldercare sector is very large with homungous opportunities, yet it is at a very nascent stage.

    “We need to first understand the need and want of this sector and then begin with addressing the need first and it will itself graduate towards the want,” Saraf averred.

    Lightrock India partner Saleem Asaria felt there is still a need to do lot more in this sector which can excite an investor. “India is phenomenal and has whole space of opportunities. The 500 million investment is not going to even touch the surface. The companies need to articulate their vision. There is a very big opportunity of investing but a lot has to be first done to make that happen,” Asaria said.

    Traditionally, Indian families have been characterized by multigenerational households where elderly parents lived with their adult children.

    However, urbanization and economic development have led to a shift towards nuclear families – with severe implications for elderly care, as adult children may not always be available to supply the necessary support and care to their aging parents.

    Venture Highway, Investor, Priya Mohan feels that building trust is very important in this sector. “The population we are looking at is experienced and mature. They won’t spend money on anything which is frivolous. So we need to work on building that trust first,” she stated.

    The second roundtable discussion among the panelists was on the ecosystem of senior living during which Alternatives India MD Karan Singh Sodhi said that he believes very positively about the healthcare sector and feels there are homungous opportunities in the segment.

    “We are 310 million senior population. The population will increase. By 2050, one of every 5th Indian is going to Senior. The opportunity is humongous,” Sodi said.

    Aloke Bhuniya, CEO of Ascendas-Firstspace, said that a year down the road, the investors will be having a better understanding of this sector. “It is an emerging market but what this sector is going to become in next 20-30 years will be completely different,” Bhuniya underlined.

    With rising disposable incomes in India, families now have the financial means to invest in senior care services.

    Previously considered a luxury, senior care services are increasingly seen as a necessity. Families are willing to spend on healthcare, assisted living, and other senior care options to ensure the well-being of their elderly loved ones.

    GMR’s Chief Business Officer Sumit Anand said that as Indian society is changing, senior living is going to be more important. “GMR I think has some background in this urban infrastructure and we would like to combine and contribute to this sector,” he stated.

    Also Read: Land Deals Surge by 45% in Tier II and III Cities from Jan 2022 to Oct 2023: JLL Report

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