York has become a retirement hotspot – with bungalows and accessible properties being snapped up by buyers from outside the city – a council meeting heard.

And the city may risk becoming a “victim of its own success” as a higher number of older residents could increase the cost of social care.


Bungalows for sale are bought quickly – often by people from the south east of England – charity Age UK told City of York Council.

The health and adult social care committee meeting was discussing a project by the council in which researchers spoke to residents about what sort of homes they want to live in when the get older.

Outsiders buy in

Cardinal Court retirement home in Bishophill, York. Photograph: McCarthy & Stone
The meeting heard that 40 per cent of the new retirement apartments at Cardinal Court in Bishophill were bought by people from outside the city.

The 34-apartment block is exclusively for people over the age of 60 and the price of a two bedroom home starts at £374,999.

Cllr Chris Cullwick said the city has become “increasingly popular as a retirement destination”. He added:

  • Many would sell up in the south east in order to come and retire to York for all that it has to offer – its wonderful quality of life and culture.

    Is that something that needs to be taken account of?

    It could be that we become increasingly a victim of our own success in this area, in that York attracts a larger proportion of retirees and therefore in terms of the future cost of social care we’d be setting ourselves a bigger challenge.

Philip Pyke, who worked on the council’s older person’s accommodation programme report, said: “I think there is a big risk that if developers start building accommodation that is on the private market, people will just see it and snap it up and move to York.”

“If a bungalow comes on the market it can be gone so quickly – and it’s often people outside of York.”

Vicky Japes, head of the council’s older person’s accommodation project, added: “That’s that’s not necessarily something that we can manage, but it is definitely something we need to take account of.”