Market Reports

The way forward in healthcare real estate: looking towards 2050

Senior housing

How do we future-proof elderly housing?

Healthcare real estate at a critical juncture

The Netherlands is dealing with a major shortage of high-quality senior homes. This means we need to build new homes and redesign existing ones. That’s more complex than it seems: these homes also need to become more sustainable. The goal is to make the real estate healthcare sector energy-neutral by 2050. As you can imagine, that’s no small challenge. While a strict real estate strategy is not the be-all and end-all, it can certainly contribute to the solution. In our sector report, we analyse the main barriers to future-proof senior housing and look for a way forward.

Local authorities bear the brunt

The crux is that there’s a lack of high-quality senior homes, so increasing this number is essential. Densification brings different care services and facilities together in a single location and helps increase overall capacity. Yet densification alone is not enough... We also need to start building: of all homes completed between now and 2050, one in three should ideally be suitable for care/elderly care. This amounts to around 433,000 new senior homes over a 30-year period – a staggering number. Local authorities must set quotas to achieve this target.

Healthcare real estate must be Paris Proof

The elderly housing market must be energy-neutral by 2050, but has been underperforming compared to other sectors, including social housing, the office market, and logistics real estate. Why is that? Many care institutions set too short a horizon (the midpoint of 2030), causing them to make the wrong choices. They invest in existing real estate, rather than opting for demolition followed by new development. If we focus on 2050, this latter option is preferred, as it allows you to comply with Paris Proof standards while at the same time meeting the need for high-quality expansion.  

So: sustainable densification and demolition/new development

A firmer, more rigorous strategy is unavoidable. The issues at hand are simply too alarming and the current approach is inadequate. A combination of densification and demolition/new development is needed to increase the stock of senior homes. This approach works, as all newly built senior homes can also be completed to sustainable standards. The two priorities are effective built structures and high-quality programmes.

Can shortages and sustainability goals in healthcare real estate be reconciled?

There is a huge need for high-quality, sustainable senior homes. How can local authorities, healthcare organisations or property developers assume responsibility and make senior housing future-proof?

Future care housing market

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