HK to face shortage of over 60,000 suitable elderly places by 2032: report
The city's older population is expected to increase by 46.3% in the next decade.
Real estate expert, JLL, has called on the Hong Kong government to encourage more developers to build more senior living places in the city.
The call came in light of the expected increase of the city's older population by 46.3% in the next decade.
In a report, JLL warned that the city will face a shortage of over 60,000 suitable elderly places by 2032
"The number of residential care places for the elderly is scheduled to increase by 0.24% only. At the same time, our elderly population has never been healthier or wealthier, and the way our parents and grandparents want to live is very different from the way their parents and grandparents lived," JLL said.
"With a projected senior population of 2.2 million by 2032, we also consider that Hong Kong needs to find an alternative to residential care homes which may be more suitable for our growing senior population," JLL added.
By 2050, Hong Kong is also expected to have the highest global share of people aged 60 or above by 2050 at over 40% of the population
" With our elderly population forecast to grow by half a million over the next decade, it is critical to have enough suitable accommodation in the city and the mainland cities in Greater Bay Area (GBA) to defuse the problem," JLL stated.
Currently, options for the elderly in Hong Kong are mostly limited to living with their families and Residential Care Homes for the Elderly (RCHE) which provide 74,200 care places providing crucial services and care to elderly residents. These facilities, however, can be basic and offer limited privacy and independence to residents.
“We expect that there are more elderly residents with greater wealth who wish to continue to live independent and active lifestyles in retirement. Therefore, the government should consider dedicating land specifically for elderly home use, encourage public-private partnerships to unlock this sector and offer incentives to speed up development. The Northern Metropolis presents a particularly good opportunity to set aside land for this very purpose and this could help to ease some of the burden that the government will face with this population time bomb," Wendy Chan, GBA Growth Director of Value and Risk Advisory at JLL in Greater China, said.
JLL proposed that government build luxury-style residential apartments within a complex that also offers nursing, medical, entertainment and service facilities to residents.
"The development could be similar to co-living or serviced apartments with on-site medical and nursing care, and the facilities can be self-contained communities, with access to dentists, medical care, restaurants, cafes, gyms and cinemas. Such would provide the residents with both independence and an aspirational lifestyle with high-quality accommodation and several services at hand to make their lives more convenient," JLL said.
"At the same time, by providing more suitable elderly accommodation, more conventional flats would be released to the market after increasing elderlies move into these new projects, which could also help to alleviate some of the existing housing shortages," JLL added.