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What does a frozen property market mean for retirement living? Kevin Shaw, MD

The housing market has been dealing with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic and it’s likely that a degree of uncertainty will continue for some time.

While the industry gathers itself, above all else, the number one priority must be ensuring the health and wellbeing of people across the UK.

One of the most pressing issues has been what should happen for homebuyers either purchasing a retirement property, or planning to purchase one now. A time that can be stressful enough, without the added economic uncertainty that the spread of COVID-19 has brought to our everyday lives.

The Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, attempted to provide some clarity for homebuyers on Thursday night. Without imposing a complete stop, Jenrick’s plans will instead put the brakes on the property market until the coronavirus restrictions are over. In his statement he urged buyers and sellers to “adapt and be flexible” without being too prescriptive.

People who are well - with no symptoms - moving into an empty property can press ahead, and this is welcome.

As well as this, those making “critical home moves” are exempt from the restrictions that the government has, for the time being, simply suggested.

What we urgently need is greater detail on what counts as a “critical home move”, and I believe this should absolutely include those moving into retirement villages. Retirement communities up and down the country will have moving dates scheduled for the coming weeks, and the vast majority of these will be people moving into either brand new or unoccupied properties.

Provided those homebuyers are well with no symptoms, and the correct procedures are followed to safeguard existing owners in the community, these moves should be allowed to go ahead as planned.

I genuinely believe that living in one our villages is one of the best places for people to be during this difficult time.

The level of support available to all our property owners is unrivalled. Our team is working incredibly hard to support all our owners' health and wellbeing. We’re introducing new initiatives every day, including online exercise guides, dance classes, virtual coffee mornings, online mediation workshops, and cooking classes to name just a few.

All of this is key to ensuring a strong sense of community continues in the village, and especially at a time when many of us, not just older people, are cut off from friends and family and are experiencing isolation and feelings of loneliness. Also, crucially, owners have access to care as and when then need it.

From meals, or shopping, dropped at the door though to full care support, this is something that is reassuring for all our owners, and their families, during this uncertain time.

Audley teams up and down the country are working to support each other, the people living in our villages and those we care for in the local community. From 'how to' guides to video calling, to our owners' app and online exercise videos.

If you are considering moving to a retirement village but find yourself questioning whether now is the right time, please be reassured. Our helpful team can call you back via your preferred choice of video call.

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Want to get paid £250 to cook from home? Share your best recreation of one of our michelin-style recipes and include #MichelinFromHome to apply! To enter: 🍳Recreate one of the Michelin Style Recipes From Audley Villages at home and snap your best photo, see recipes here: http://audleyvillages.co.uk/michelin-from-home (link is also in our bio) 💙Follow and share it with @AudleyVillages on social media using the hashtag #MichelinFromHome The successful applicant will be selected based on the photo of your michelin style dish at the end of the application period. Goodluck! Applications are now open to UK residents above 18 years old. T&C's apply. #MichelinFromHome 18
LEAMINGTON SPA | Part of our interior design brief is incorporating the local area and the history in to the design for each village just like this fabulous poster in our sales apartment at Audley Binswood. • • • • • #leamingtonspa #binswoodhall #binswood #audleyvilages #retirementliving #retirementvilage #retirementplanning #interiordesigner
BLACK | An extremely popular trend at the moment is monochrome interiors, it can added for pop of depth to a room or to contrast. Our interior designer added this tea set to our show apartment at Audley Binswood. • • • • • • #audleyvillages #interiordesign #interior123 #interiordesigner #interiorstyling #monochrome #designinspiration #monochromatic @interiordesignideas @interiordesignmag
REFLECTIONS | Using mirrors to flood light into our rooms. • • • • • #audleyvillages #stanbridgearls #Romsey #interiorinspo #interior123 #interiordesigninspo #mirrors #retirement #retirementplanning 4
LIGHTING | Something you might have noticed if you’ve visited multiple Audley Village’s is that out lighting is always a main feature in our rooms, they compliment and finish the look beautifully. • • • • • #audleyvillages #interiordesign123 #interiorstyling #deisgner #lighting #chandeliers #interior_design #Redwood #retirementvillage #retirementliving
CHARACTER | Keeping the character of the original building but adding the Audley signature style to bring the village to life. • • • • • #audleyvillages #character #interiordesigner #refurb #interior123 #designinspiration #retirement #chaingingperspective
THE MONTFORT | The stunning bar area at Audley Stanbridge Earls. Interiors by: @bernardinteriors • • • • • #interiordesign #interiors123 #audleyvillages #retirementlife #bardesign #personalisedinteriors #refurbished #original #stanbridgeearls #romsey
FINAL PHASE | The first nine spacious new houses are now ready in the final phase at Audley Chalfont Dene. • • • • #audleyvillages #togetherathome #newproperties #retirementvillage #chalfontdene #chalfontstgiles #retirementplanning
LONDON | Audley Nightingale Place the latest village within the Audley portfolio. This will be the bar area soon to be filled with the most delicious wines, spirits and importantly coffee! • • • • • #audleyvillages #retirement #london #claphamcommon #interiordesign #interiors123 #interiordesign #londonproperty #retirementvillage 5
SNEAK PEEK | Audley Nightingale Place, Clapham. • • • • • • #audleyvillages #claphamcommon #london #firstlondonvillage #retirementliving #londonproperty #retirementcommunities 1
BOOK CLUB | one of our owners favourite spots at Audley Ellerslie, Malvern. • • • • #ellerslie #audleyellerslie #malvern #librarydesign #interior123 #personalised #retirementplanning #retirementlife #bookclub 1
WILLICOMBE PARK | The sun shining over Tunbridge Wells. • • • • • #tunbridgewells #royaltunbridgewells #audleyvillages #willicombepark #retirement #retirementplanning #retiredlife 1
VIEWS | the stunning grounds captured by the General Manager, Thomas at Coopers Hill. 3
LISTED BUILDING | Our properties surround Stanbridge Manor which is a grade II* listed building so it retains the majority of its original features. • • • • • #listedbuilding #audleyvillages #interiordesign #interior123 #retirementvillage #romsey #stanbridgearls