News & Press Releases

Seniors Housing Occupancy Continues Recovery, Rent Growth Steady, and Initial Construction Level Shows Marginal Decrease

NIC MAP Data Reveals Distinct Independent Living and Assisted Living Recent Trends

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, January 9, 2015
Contact: Biba Aidoo, (410) 267-0504 or

ANNAPOLIS, Md. –The average occupancy rate for seniors housing properties in the fourth quarter of 2014 was 90.5%, an increase of 0.2 percentage points from the prior quarter and a 0.9 percentage point increase from a year earlier. As of the fourth quarter of 2014, occupancy was 3.6 percentage points above its cyclical low of 86.9% during the first quarter of 2010.

The occupancy rate for independent living properties and assisted living properties averaged 91.3% and 89.3%, respectively, during the fourth quarter of 2014. When compared to the prior quarter, independent living occupancy increased by 0.4 percentage points, while assisted living occupancy remained flat. The occupancy rate for independent living is now 4.5 percentage points above its cyclical low, while the occupancy of assisted living is 2.8 percentage points above its respective cyclical low.

“The improvement in seniors housing occupancy rates in the fourth quarter is good news and highlights the effects of the strengthening economy and growing consumer confidence levels on demand for properties that provide personal care, housing and socialization for today’s elders,” says Beth Mace, NIC’s chief economist.

During the fourth quarter of 2014, the rate of seniors housing’s annual asking rent growth remained unchanged at 2.3% from  the prior quarter and was 0.7 percentage points above its pace one year earlier during the fourth quarter of 2013.

Seniors housing annual absorption was 2.7% as of the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to 2.9% during the third quarter of 2014 and 2.2% during the fourth quarter of 2013.

In the fourth quarter of 2014, the seniors housing annual inventory growth rate slowed to 1.7% from 1.8% during the prior quarter. Current construction as a share of existing inventory for seniors housing was 3.5%, which is 0.1 percentage points below that of the previous quarter.

“For the fourth consecutive year, annual absorption continues to outpace inventory growth for the overall seniors housing sector. As a result, upward pressure continues on the overall seniors housing occupancy rate. However, the underlying trends between the independent living and assisted living subsectors vary,” says Chuck Harry, NIC’s managing director and director of research and analytics. “Whereas independent living’s annual absorption has outpaced its annual inventory growth by a large margin, that margin for assisted living is significantly narrower and is resulting in a slower recovery in the assisted living occupancy rate, which was essentially unchanged this quarter.”

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

Nursing care annual inventory growth was -0.3% in the fourth quarter of 2014, while annual absorption was 0.1%. Private pay rents for the sector grew 2.7% year-over-year this quarter, which is 0.1 percentage points below the pace of the prior quarter.

NIC MAP Seniors Housing & Care Market Fundamentals for 4Q14


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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