News & Press Releases

NIC Reports Rising Demand for Seniors Housing, Higher Asking Rates and a Marginal Decrease in the Construction Level

Seniors Housing and Care Transactions Volumes Remains Active, Up 28% YTD

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, October 10, 2014
Contact: Biba Aidoo, (410) 267-0504 or

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Overall, the average occupancy rate for seniors housing properties in the third quarter of 2014 was 90.3%, an increase of 0.4 percentage points from the prior quarter and a 1.0 percentage point increase from a year earlier. As of the third quarter of 2014, occupancy was 3.4 percentage points above its cyclical low of 86.9% during the first quarter of 2010, according to the NIC MAP® Data Service.

The occupancy rate for independent living properties and assisted living properties averaged 90.9% and 89.4%, respectively, during the third quarter of 2014. When compared to the prior quarter, independent living occupancy increased by 0.4 percentage points, while assisted living occupancy increased by 0.5 percentage points. The occupancy rate for independent living is now 4.2 percentage points above its cyclical low, while the occupancy of assisted living is 2.9 percentage points above its respective cyclical low.

During the third quarter of 2014, the rate of seniors housing’s annual asking rent growth accelerated to 2.3% from 2.0% in the prior quarter% and was 0.7 percentage points above its pace one year earlier during the third quarter of 2013.

“This is good news for the sector and follows the positive news we have been hearing about the national economy and the improving labor markets,” says Beth Mace, NIC’s chief economist. She noted that ”stronger job growth, growing consumer confidence and the broad recovery in the stock market are contributing to the gains seen in occupancy and rent growth in seniors housing in the third quarter.”

Seniors housing annual absorption was 2.9% as of the third quarter of 2014, compared to 2.6% during the second quarter of 2014 and 2.0% during the third quarter of 2013.

In the third quarter of 2014, the seniors housing annual inventory growth rate was 1.7%, an increase of 0.2 percentage points from the prior quarter. Current construction as a share of existing inventory for seniors housing was 3.4%, which is 0.1 percentage points below that of the previous quarter.

“While seniors housing’s moderate rate of inventory growth continued during the third quarter, with approximately 2,600 units coming online in the primary markets, the rise in demand was almost twice that rate,” says Chuck Harry, NIC’s managing director and director of research and analytics. “The primary markets realized record absorption during the quarter, as the number of occupied seniors housing units increased by nearly 5,000—the highest rate of absorption in one quarter since the NIC MAP time series began as of year-end 2005.”

The nursing care occupancy rate was unchanged at 88.3% in the third quarter of 2014.

Nursing care annual inventory growth was essentially flat in the third quarter of 2014, while annual absorption was 0.8%. Private pay rents for the sector grew 2.8% year-over-year this quarter, which is 0.1 percentage points above the pace of the prior quarter.

Seniors housing and care, through August 2014, registered $11 billion in closed transactions volume, up 28 percent from this time last year. This is reflective of the Brookdale Senior Living acquisition of Emeritus Corporation. Pricing for seniors housing and care continues to remain high at approximately $160,000 per unit, and nursing care pricing continues to hover around $70,000 per unit.

NIC MAP Seniors Housing & Care Market Fundamentals for 3Q14

About NIC
The National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC) is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to advance the quality and availability of seniors housing and care options for America’s elders. NIC provides research, education, and increased transparency that facilitate informed investment decisions, quality outcomes and leadership development in seniors housing and care.

Since 1991, NIC has been the leading source of research, data and analytics for owners, operators, developers, capital providers, researchers, academics, public policy analysts and others interested in meet-ing the housing and care needs of America’s seniors. NIC has proudly sponsored the Seniors Housing & Care Journal, a peer reviewed journal for applied research in the seniors housing and care field, since 1993. One of NIC’s major initiatives to further its mission is the NIC MAP® Data Service (NIC MAP). NIC MAP is a web-based suite of research and analysis tools that tracks and reports seniors housing and care data, enabling users to gain access to more than 13,000 properties within 99 U.S. metropolitan markets and more than 600 counties. Established in 2004, NIC MAP creates transparency for seniors housing and care by offering accurate, unbiased and actionable market-level data on all of the sector’s property types and care segments including independent living (IL), assisted living (AL), memory care (MC) and nursing care (NC). Our data is updated quarterly, monthly and weekly, and is inclusive of property-level inventory by unit type, sales transactions, properties under construction and in the planning phase, aggregated occupancy and rent comparables, demographics and much more. For more information, visit or call 410-267-0504.

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