Show us the money... Funding retirement housing
At the Care Homes 2015 Conference organised by LD Events last month much of the discussion centred around retirement villages and of course the recent excellent Law Commission consultation paper on what we must now learn to call "Event Fees".
It was clear, talking to participants at the conference, that there is enormous interest in this concept from landowners, developers, house builders and funders. As we have written elsewhere there is currently no standard operating model and there is no doubt that this is holding back this new sector.
Among the many obstacles facing developers, obtaining funding is probably the greatest. We heard how US REITs are now providing finance in the US but in the UK legal, structural and other difficulties are holding back growth. In a slightly understated way we were told: "Finding an investment model has been challenging".
And yet – hard on the heels of the Conference is a Real Estate Funds Survey produced by another law firm we know and regard well. The number one challenge facing the industry we learn is finding suitable assets; the second is generating target returns.
There is a variety of reasons why real estate funds which are seeking assets have, so far, ignored the potential of a new asset class which often struggles to find finance. As always however fortune will doubtless favour the brave. We have touched on some of these issues previously and we will return to this subject in the near future.