According to the 'Building a healthier and more thriving future' study, released by CBRE, more than 20 projects are either under construction or in the licensing phase for residences for the elderly in the national market, but this will not be enough to fulfil the demand.

In less than 30 years, more than a third of the population residing in Portugal will be seniors, which is equivalent to a total of 3.3 million people (an additional 1 million compared to the current 2.3 million). To respond to this demographic evolution, an additional 55,000 beds will be needed in senior homes, making this an attractive opportunity for potential investors.

CBRE believes that the private sector will need to respond to the demand while highlighting that several foreign operators are already in existence in the country including Orpea, Domus Vi, Domitys and Clece; working alongside Portuguese companies such as UHub, a Amera and BF.

Ageing population

Currently Portugal has the third highest proportion of elderly in Europe and by 2050 it is expected to have the highest level. The rise in retirees is compounded by the fact that while Portugal has one of the highest life expectancies in Europe, it also has some of the lowest levels of healthy seniors.

The high price of senior homes in Portugal has been one of the obstacles to the growth in supply, states CBRE.

Prices in private homes vary considerably depending on the resident's degree of dependency, necessary medical care and additional services (such as leisure activities, hairdressing, etc.). The average base price in a professionally managed private residence is, based on the survey, approximately €1,200, which represents a very high cost compared to the average value of pensions, which is €5,811 a year or €484.25 per month in Portugal.

Portuguese pensioners also have to contend with competition from foreign retirees who in general have larger pensions. According to CBRE, the increase in foreigners living in Portugal will tend to be reflected in an increase in the offer of higher quality senior residences with a greater offer of equipment and services.

In Portugal, the provision of accommodation for the senior population is part of the Residential Structures for Elderly People (ERPI) and is complemented by the National Network of Integrated Continued Care (RNCCI) and by some houses for independent elderly people.

There are currently around 100,500 beds in ERPI, of which only 23 percent belong to private for-profit entities. According to the World Health Organization, the supply of beds in homes for seniors should correspond to 5 percent of the elderly population. This means that Portugal currently has a deficit of 4,500 beds and by 2050, at least 55,000 will need to be created.