5/13/2024 | Care

Significant deficit in elderly care home bed numbers in Wales expected by 2034 says new Christie & Co report

Specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co, has launched its ‘Wales Healthcare Market Insight 2024’ report, which analyses the elderly care home market across Wales and highlights the growing need for new build, ‘future-proof’ care homes throughout the country.

Wales Healthcare Market Insight 2024


Between 2020 and 2023, 40 elderly care homes in Wales closed and only four opened, says Christie & Co.

As of March 2024, there are 594 elderly care homes across Wales with an average capacity for 37 residents. They comprise a total of 21, 820 care beds, 60 per cent of which have en suite provision, 25 per cent have wet room provision and just 22 per cent have dedicated dementia provision, according to Christie & Co’s benchmarking data. These homes are primarily located in urban areas of higher population density, such as Cardiff, Swansea, and Wrexham, and there remains a significant shortfall of such beds in many rural areas where poor transport links and staffing challenges prohibit development.

The average home in Wales has an occupancy rate of 92 per cent, a rise from 90 per cent in 2022/23, and 89 per cent in England.


Between 2020 and 2024, 604 EMC (Effective Market Capacity/future-proof) beds were developed in Wales, either through new registrations or the refurbishment of existing facilities – that’s an increase of just 5 per cent in four years. Comparatively, the demand rose by 20 per cent meaning that, as of 2024, the overall demand for beds in Wales is circa 21,155 whilst there are only circa 12,501 EMC beds in supply – just 59 per cent of the required demand.

74 per cent of Local Authorities in Wales require EMC beds, yet only 26 per cent currently have sufficient levels of supply, which further demonstrates the necessity of such provision.


Analysing existing planning applications, by 2029 the supply of EMC beds in Wales is predicted to increase by 1,049. However, this is alongside a projected increase in demand of 3,627 beds. Given the lack of new registrations in the country, this undersupply is likely to widen even further. Therefore, it is clear that expansion and new registrations will not occur at a rate that can replace the decline, ultimately leading to a lack in the supply of future-proof beds in an ageing population.

Christie & Co forecasts that, by 2034, there will be a total undersupply of 1,672 EMC beds in North Wales and 7,423 EMC beds in South Wales in the next 10 years.

Rob Kinsman, Regional Director - Care at Christie & Co, and Will Edwards – Healthcare Development & Investment at Christie & Co, comment, “The figures in our report speak for themselves. There is a severe need for EMC beds in Wales and this demand is growing rapidly as people live longer and we see a rise in the closure of homes that are no longer fit for purpose.

“Wales is behind the curve with England and Scotland in terms of new future-proof care bed provision coming forward. It is clear there is a significant opportunity for specialist developers, operators, funders, and private individuals to benefit from early mover advantage into the Welsh market. Christie & Co deal activity for care and retirement development sites is starting to increase in the country, with two completions in the first half of this year. We look forward to working with market participants in facilitating future-proof bed supply to serve the growing need of the elderly population.”

To read the full ‘Wales Healthcare Market Insight’ report, visit: https://www.christie.com/news-resources/publications/wales-healthcare-market-insight-2024/


For further information on this press release, contact:
Phoebe Burrows, Corporate Communications Manager
P: 07540 063 598 or E: phoebe.burrows@christie.com

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