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Gold rush, investment in nursing homes in Spain

In Spain, the residential sector for the elderly has grown rapidly in recent years. According to the data we extracted from the website, in 10 years, from 2011 to 2021, the share of people aged 65+ in Spain increased by more than 15%. From 17.21% of the population to 19.9% of the population. This is an increase of more than 1.2 million people who joined their 9.5 million fellow pensioners.

Investment in senior housing is not new news. With the extension of life expectancy and the quality of life, the sector developed to enormous dimensions in the world. This area is divided into sub-sectors characterized mainly according to the level of abilities of the residents, from the elderly, healthy, fully functioning people who need company to nursing situations that require close care.

Join a tour from inside an old people's home in a city near Barcelona:

Nursing home sector

In 1978, the Spanish law enshrined the right to health protection and health care for all citizens. Today, in Spain, there are approximately 364,581 beds in nursing homes, where the field is supervised and operates under clear and strict regulations. The supply of beds is asymmetrically spread across the country. In Madrid, there is a shortage of 5,220 beds, while in Barcelona, the situation is much worse, and 11,124 additional beds are required. On the other hand, there are areas where the supply is large and the demand is low.

According to the Spanish Central Bureau of Statistics, it is estimated that by the year 2050, Spain will occupy fourth place in the population aging indicators in the European Union. According to estimates, 56.9% of the population will be over 64. These data have been creating interest among real estate investors for a long time. Understand that this is a field with potential.

The supply of beds in Spain

Health services in Spain consist of a combination of private and public services. Over the years, more and more private companies began to enter the nursing home market. After many years, it was dominated by governmental organizations and non-profit organizations. As a result, the market had positive changes, and the number of beds increased. In 2019, over 360,000 nursing home beds were registered in Spain, with the main remaining problem being the asymmetrical distribution of the beds throughout the country.

Of the entire supply of beds, about 145,000 beds belonged to the private sector, 100,000 were in the hands of the public sector, and about 100,000 belonged to third parties attributed to non-profit associations. And the rest operated under a public administrative concession.

Graph: 60% growth within a decade from 225,000 beds to more than 360,000. The light shade represents the rapid increase in the supply of private beds over public beds.

Home care investment in Spain
Home care investment in Spain


Ratio of beds to the population

According to the World Health Organization, the recommended ratio is 5 beds for every 100 people over the age of 64, which is an accepted measure in the European Union and worldwide. Among the countries that achieved this goal are the Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Finland, Germany and France. In contrast, the national average in Spain is below the standard index. The national average in Spain is a ratio of 4.4 beds per 100 people (over the age of 64) - a figure that reflects a shortage of 66,000 beds.

Where in the world will you find the best ratio of beds per person?

While the average ratio in Spain stands at 4.4 beds per 100 people, in the prestigious Sierra the greatest coverage is found - with 10.6 beds for 100 people over the age of 65. And in the provinces of Castile and Leon there is the greatest coverage - where the average is 7.8 beds for 100 people over the age of 65. In cities like Palencia, Segovia and Salamanca there is a ratio of 9.1, 8.8 and 8 beds respectively.The second place in Spain is occupied by Guadalajara with 9.5 beds per 100 people over the age of 65. On the other hand, we can see the lowest figures in the Mediterranean islands, Andalusia and Galicia. The worst figure is in Las Palmas, where there are 2 beds for every 100 people over the age of 65. And similar numbers can also be seen in Alicante, Murcia, Punta Verde, La Coruña, Seville and Malaga - all of them have less than 3 beds for 100 people.

The greatest demand is in Barcelona

Twenty-nine of Spain's 50 provinces do not meet the standard of beds set by the World Health Organization. Barcelona is particularly notable - on the one hand, it has the largest supply of beds (over 42,300), but on the other hand the greatest shortage of beds. In order to reach the standard of the World Health Organization, Barcelona will need an addition of about 11,000 beds. Alicante and Valencia also need an addition of about 9,000 and 7,000 beds, respectively.In Madrid, where there are 53,800 beds, 5,220 beds are missing in order to achieve the goals of the World Health Organization. Whereas the autonomous cities of Souta and Melilla, only require the addition of about a hundred beds, but this is mainly because of their small population.


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