HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – October 19, 2023 – Nearly one in three Hong Kong residents will be aged over 65 by 2038 and 70% of them could need medical assistance in due to chronic illnesses. Yet there is a shortage of senior housing available on the market to meet their aging needs, according to a report released by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and Chinachem Group (Chinachem).
Growing demand, combined with limited land availability and high land costs, poses significant challenges for senior housing development in Hong Kong, known to have the longest life expectancy in the world. To accelerate the development of Hong Kong’s senior housing sector, the report urges the government and investors to collaborate in the following areas:
1. More specific land use planning policies
A. Assign designated land use categories for senior housing
b. Offer a preferential land premium for senior housing on residential land to reduce costs
2. Incentives for senior housing development incorporating age-friendly design features
3. An improved health care subsidy system to expand and include private operators, which will lead to subsidized health care in private elderly housing
4. Extending health service incentives to private operators, encouraging them to make their services more accessible and providing more options for older people
Hong Kong lagging behind in supply and political support
To meet the priorities of increasingly wealthy seniors, the report calls for stronger aging policies and public/private collaboration to develop Hong Kong’s senior housing market. Currently, Hong Kong’s policies on aging are limited in scope and focus on funding non-profit/non-governmental organizations. Limited incentives are given to the private sector to develop senior housing projects.
In building a strong senior housing market in Hong Kong, factors such as public acceptance and value-added professional services by the private sector are equally important. Therefore, the report recommends that the private sector consider the following when planning senior housing:
Development of intergenerational communities
Additional services for seniors for a smooth transition to aging in place, such as training for housekeepers and home renovation
Increased use of technology in retirement homes to ease pressure on caretakers
Key lessons learned from the region
Referring to case studies in the APAC region – Australia, Japan, mainland China and Singapore, the report reveals that executing a holistic plan, involving various government ministries and an effective combination of land supply, development housing and health, has been essential in reducing the cost of developing and operating senior housing in these markets.
Australia: One of the most established senior housing markets, with a variety of housing options that cater to seniors with varying degrees of care needs; the government provides support to reduce costs and promote development.
Japan: Government health policies provide incentives for the construction of housing for the elderly; Capacity in the private seniors housing market increased by more than 160 percent between 2011 and 2018.
Mainland China: Insurance companies are key players in the development of senior housing; typically located in Tier 1 cities and marketed as exclusive communities with customer priority.
Singapore: The government has taken the initiative to develop various senior housing models and integrate senior-friendly designs into public housing estates.
“As baby boomers retire and life expectancy continues to increase, older adults will make up a significant portion of the population in the future. Today’s older people naturally want to enjoy a high quality of life after retirement. “Policy support and public-private partnerships play a key role in helping stakeholders form effective ecosystems to overcome challenges such as limited land supply and high costs of senior housing development,” she said. declared
Alan Beebe, CEO, ULI Asia Pacific.
“Having started focusing on Hong Kong’s aging population in recent years, Chinachem Group is pleased to share new insights from this report on senior housing with society. Committed to creating a positive impact that will benefit seniors and their families, bringing prosperity through investment in senior housing. housing market and preserving the planet, our goal is to make Hong Kong a more livable intergenerational community,” said
Donald Choi, Executive Director and CEO, Chinachem Group.
Donald Choi will be part of a panel meeting at 5 p.m. (GMT+8), 19 October 2023, to discuss key investment drivers, challenges and future opportunities in Hong Kong’s emerging senior housing sector. Other esteemed panelists include
Dr. Ching-Choi LamSBS, JP – Member of the Executive Council of the HKSAR Government,
Ryan IPCFA, MRICS – Vice President and Co-Head of Research, Our Hong Kong Foundation and Moderator
Hannah Jeong – Head of Valuation and Advisory Services, Colliers.
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