A report by the International Longevity Centre said that demand for retirement housing could outstrip supply by more than 375,000 homes by the middle of this century.
The State of the Nation’s Housing study said the annual rate of construction of new homes for over 65s had fallen from 30,000 in 1989 to an average of 7,000 per year since 2006.
It added that analysis by property firm Savills identified a need for 18,000 homes to be built each year to keep up with the growing population of over-65s.
The report makes a series of recommendations, including ensuring that local plans cater for an ageing polulation.
It says: "While housebuilding in some local authorities appears to have been responsive to a growing population, in others, the industry has failed to keep up with demand.
"To avoid a post code lottery on house building, the government needs to ensure that local housing plans are in place by 2017 as per the National Planning Policy Framework."
But the document adds that government "could go even further".
"In locations where the private sector appears reluctant to build, government should consider direct intervention – either in terms of tax and other incentives to attract private sector developers or by directly investing in housebuilding for the area", the report says.