News & Press Releases

Seniors Housing Continues Recovery

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, January 26, 2012
Contact: Jessica Palmeri (410) 267-0504 or


NIC MAP Data Continues to Show Strong Absorption and Slowing Construction Activity

Annapolis, Md. – The seniors housing occupancy rate continued its slow recovery in the fourth quarter of 2011, while construction activity continued to decline, according to NIC MAP, a data analysis service of the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry (NIC).

Overall, the average occupancy rate for seniors housing properties in 4Q11 was 88.2%, an increase of 0.1 percentage points from the prior quarter and a 0.7 percentage point increase from a year ago. The seniors housing average occupancy rate has risen in seven consecutive quarters and is 1.1 percentage points above its cyclical low of 87.1% in 1Q10.

The occupancy rate for independent living properties in 4Q11 averaged 88.0%, and the occupancy rate for assisted living properties averaged 88.6%. Only independent living showed improvement from the prior quarter, increasing 0.2 percentage points from 3Q11. The average occupancy rates for independent living and assisted living are both 1.2 percentage points above their respective cyclical lows. “With occupancy continuing to rise, it is clear the recovery is underway, however, independent living has been driving much of the occupancy gains in recent quarters,” says Michael Hargrave, Vice President, NIC MAP.

Year-over-year rent growth for seniors housing increased to 1.7%, from 1.6% in 3Q11 and 0.8% in the fourth quarter of 2010. “While rent growth continues to slowly improve, it is important to note that current rent growth remains below the current level of inflation,” says Chuck Harry, NIC’s Director of Research and Analysis

For seniors housing properties, annual absorption was 2.0% in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to 1.9% in 3Q11 and 1.7% a year ago. “This is now the fifth consecutive quarter where the pace of annual absorption is above that of annual inventory growth, thereby resulting in rising occupancy,” says Harry.

In 4Q11, the seniors housing annual inventory growth rate was 1.2%, which is up from 1.0% in 3Q11, but down from 1.5% in 4Q10. The construction as a share of existing inventory for seniors housing was 1.5%, which is down from 1.6% in the previous quarter.

The nursing care occupancy rate was 88.2% in 4Q11, a decline of 0.1 percentage points from 3Q11. Nursing care occupancy has been marginally declining for several years.

Nursing care annual inventory growth was -0.4% in 4Q11, continuing the established trend of slightly declining inventory growth. Private pay rents for the sector grew 3.4% year-over-year this quarter, which is unchanged from the pace reported in the third quarter of 2011.

National NIC MAP Data

About NIC

For 20 years, the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry (NIC) has been committed to advancing the quality of seniors housing and care by facilitating informed investment decisions for investors, lenders, owners, operators and developers through groundbreaking research, actionable data and dealmaking events. NIC is the leading provider of historical and trend data on the industry through its NIC MAP® Data and Analysis Service that tracks more than 12,500 properties on a quarterly basis in the 100 largest metropolitan markets. Proceeds from its annual conference and other events are used to fund data and research on issues of importance to lenders, investors, developers, operators, and others interested in meeting the housing and care needs of America’s seniors. For more information, visit or call (410) 267-0504.

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