Savills predicts demand for operational real estate across Europe forecasting top 'youthful' and 'aged' cities

Young city

As part of its latest Global Living research, Savills has identified the cities and regions in Europe that in five years’ time will be particularly ‘youthful’, having the largest share of people aged 20-39, and those that will be the most ‘aged’, with the highest number of people aged 65 or older. 

The global real estate advisor expects this to drive an increase in demand for purpose built student housing, co-living and multifamily in ‘youthful’ cities, as well as senior housing and housing with care in ‘aged’ ones.

By country, the UK will have the most ‘youthful’ cities in 2026 (22), followed by Germany (18) and France (14). Germany will be the country with the most ‘aged’ cities (25), with France (15) and Italy (14) making up the top three.
 
Paul Tostevin, Director in Savills World Research team, says: “These two groups are not mutually exclusive. Germany may be home to the most ‘aged’ cities in Europe, but it is also home to the second largest number of youthful cities. Scale is an important factor too. The number of 20-39 year olds in Berlin, for example, is lower only than London and Paris in Western Europe.”

Marcus Roberts, Head of Europe for Savills Operational Capital Markets, says: “Operational residential real estate has proven to be extremely resilient in a time of exceptional global upheaval. Global investment into the ‘living’ sectors held up better than the office, retail or hotel sectors last year and that positive sentiment has continued in 2021.
 
“Given the amount of capital chasing the sector and the limited amount of high quality stock available, our analysis allows developers, investors and operators to look five years into the future and anticipate in which cities demand for senior living, healthcare, student housing, co-living and multifamily is likely to grow.”
 
The pandemic has also served to emphasise how social humans are and has shone a light on the ‘loneliness issue’. Purpose-built operational residential schemes can help to tackle this problem, according to Savills. For example, many housing with care and senior living schemes offer private rooms for residents as well as a support network and sense of community, while co-living can provide contacts for people moving to a new city and student housing can help young people to build networks and find relationships.
 
With an emphasis on the social impact and value of real estate taking centre stage, and its importance expected to continue to grow in the coming years, developers, investors and operators are already ensuring their assets provide not just a place to live but access to amenities and strong integration with the wider community.