old man 88.
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The market for building independent senior housing units in retirement villages is gaining wider potential in Israel as demand for quality senior living and a better life for those in their golden years grows.
"In the US where the market is more mature, about 10 percent of the active adult community today is moving into senior living communities, whereas in Israel it is about 3% but the potential is vast regarding the number of tenants on the one hand and the business and economic side on the other zhand," said Gabi Baron, CEO of the Seven Stars House luxury senior living complex in Herzliya Pituah and a senior housing community in Netanya. "At the Herzliya complex, at least 30% of the tenants are of foreign origin, mainly Anglo-Saxons, from South Africa, but we also have Germans and Austrians."
According to the Dun & Bradstreet Israel annual survey of the country's leading senior housing complexes, the number of protected senior housing units in 2006 grew by 8%.
The survey found that the five leading senior housing communities are in the process of adding another 700 units, which will increase the current number of housing units by 12%.
Economists at D&B Israel, estimate that the senior community living sector will only continue to grow because of the higher age expectation among the adult community and the change in the perception of the quality and standard of living in senior communities.
According to data from the Central Bureau of Statistics, there are 693,000 senior citizens over the age of 65 living in Israel, making up more than 10% of the total population. The CBS estimates that in 2015, the number of senior citizens over 65 will rise to 875,000 and to 1.2 million in 2025.
Baron explained that today there is a change in the traditional belief of parents who used to save up for their children, to a situation, where those who worked hard all their lives want to enjoy the fruits of their labor and raise their quality of living, which they can find in senior quality housing with a wide range of amenities and activities in the arts, sports etc.
As a result, today's active adult market is growing large, has considerable buying power and represents substantial opportunities for builders and developers. Over the past couple of years, retirement homes have sprung up all over the country, creating competition as each tries to outdo the next in the level of luxury, services and amenities offered.
Topping the list of D&B Israel's rating of senior housing communities in 2006, in terms of the number of housing units and in terms of the number of tenants, was Mishan, which has 10 senior housing villages comprising 2,726 housing units and 3,538 tenants. Mishan, the frontrunner in senior care and living in Israel, was established 75 years ago. In second place came the Mediterranean Towers, which has 947 housing units across four protected retirement homes inhabiting 885 people. In third place, were the Rubinstein Estates comprising three homes with 848 housing units and 860 tenants.