Why retirees are choosing urban suburbs over quiet backwaters

The Canopy, Chigwell

There has been a long-held belief that the retired generation chooses to live in rural or seaside locations, places to enjoy their later years in peace and quiet. But Richard Williams of Cognatum which has over sixty retirement estates across the UK, says that there is a growing trend for retirees to head for the suburbs of large towns and cities in their later years.

Richard Williams says, “While the fast pace and high cost of city centre living may not be ideal for many as they get older, what the new retiring generation are attracted by is the accessibility of the attractions that cities and large towns offer.

“The perfect combination seems to be a peaceful location with local shops, essential amenities, and access to green spaces, but within an easy journey of an urban centre that offers plenty of culture, and entertainment and provides an extensive public transport hub.

“There’s often a three-part geographical pattern to people’s home-owning lives. They will buy their first property in the town or city in which they work, but will often relocate to a more rural area when they have a young family. Once their children leave home, there’s historically been an inclination to stay in the same area, even if they choose to downsize, seek out a new rural or seaside location, or move to an area where their children are bringing up their own families.

“While there remains a significant proportion of retirees who choose to relocate to be near family, there’s a growing trend for a downsizing shift to the suburbs. This has possibly been fast-tracked by a long period of lockdown during which the older generation found themselves starved of a vibrant lifestyle.

“With retirement freeing up many hours for leisure that were formerly dedicated to working, retirees are drawn to places that are packed full of culture such as theatre and exhibitions, interesting restaurants and bars and good shopping and that allow them to be carefree.

“Transport is a key requirement. Rural areas that offer a sporadic bus service mean that retirees are dependent on driving or taxis, while a good suburb with regular buses and trains that allow for unrestricted travel into a busy city or town centre is a huge benefit.”

Cognatum’s new development in Chigwell offers residents the enormous advantage of being within easy reach of a tube station. Travel to London is a breeze with Liverpool Street Station and nationwide rail connections just a thirty-minute journey from Grange Hill tube station.

The Canopy is a superb collection of 25 luxury apartments exclusively for the over 55s, nestled among the leafy treetops of the desirable and sought-after London suburb of Chigwell. Set in its own woodland, The Canopy is a perfect balance between bustling convenience and quiet retreat. 

The large communal roof terrace, furnished with soft seating, and heaters for cooler days, is a perfect spot to enjoy views over the development’s lush landscape and further afield.

The apartments all have two bedrooms, one with an en-suite bathroom, a guest bathroom, open-plan living spaces, bespoke kitchens and underfloor heating. Many have a private balcony.

On-site facilities at The Canopy include:

·        Rooftop terrace equipped with heaters, blankets and soft furnishings

·        Private woodland and woodland walk

·        Pet friendly

·        High-speed broadband 

·        Electric car charging on site 

·        Communal socialising areas, including a games room, located on each floor of the development 

·        Lift to all floors 

·        Highly efficient communal boiler with residents’ heating costs forecast to be significantly lower than for the average home. 

·        Dedicated parking space per apartment, plus visitor spaces 

·        24hr personal emergency alarm service 

·        Energy efficient

·        Pendant alarm system for emergencies.

Prices from £599,950

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The Canopy, Chigwell
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