Two of Britain’s biggest housebuilders are considering moves into the retirement homes market.

Mark Clare, chief executive of Barratt, told this week’s RESI 07 conference that he was interested in exploring the types of retirement community being developed in the US.

“Where they have got it right, we should add it to our portfolio,” he said. “At the moment, it [the retirement market] is largely being met by apartment blocks, which are not ideal.

“It’s a market that’s only going to expand and it's helpful in terms of planning because local authorities are quite keen to provide that kind of community,” he added.

Speaking at the same event, Tony Pidgley, chief executive at Berkeley Group, also said his company was considering catering for the “grey market”.

He said: “We are thinking carefully about care homes … It’s right to allow people to move out of three-bed properties and bring that stock back into the housing market.”

Clare also warned the government that housebuilders would not be able to accept ever-increasing section 106 contributions.