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09 Dec 2021

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Study shows care home market is in good shape

Buyer demand for care homes, coupled with a relative shortage of stock, is keeping prices stable, with multiple offers being routinely received, a new report has revealed

Christie & Co’s mid-year review of the care business property market shows there is “improving appetite across the market spectrum, with the top end of the market fuelled by strong investor interest which is cascading through the rest of the market”.

Clarence House care home, sold recently by Christie and Co

The specialist property adviser says there are “promising signs of recovery” in the wake of the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic which saw the sector badly affected.

“Thanks, in part, to the success of the vaccine rollout in the UK, the rate of COVID-19 infection levels and deaths within care homes has dramatically decreased, enabling homes to accept new admissions. Similarly, relatives and prospective residents are now more confident of moving into a care setting due to reductions in self isolation and the fact that regular family visits are now much easier to achieve,” says the report.

Average occupancy is showing signs of improvement, but overall increases are slow and many providers are focused on maximising income from local authority or CCG funded clients with complex needs.

The survey of care operators found that while 45 % of respondents said their occupancy has recovered, yet 39% said their occupancy levels were below 80% which shows that there is still a way to go before the sector returns to pre-pandemic levels.

Richard Lunn, managing director at Christie & Co, said: “The pandemic has thrown a spotlight on the industry and, in many respects, has shown the importance of care provision in the UK. As a result, we have seen an increase in the demand for homes from providers looking to grow their portfolios.”

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