News & Press Releases

Seniors Housing Posts Slight Gain in Occupancy in 1st Quarter While Rent Growth Remains Stable and Construction Pace Slows

NIC MAP® Data Shows Annual Inventory Growth Still Tempered 

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Overall, the average occupancy rate for seniors housing properties in the first quarter of 2014 was 89.8%, an increase of 0.1 percentage points from the prior quarter and a 0.8 percentage point increase from a year earlier. As of the first quarter of 2014, occupancy was 2.9 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 90.2% and 89.1%, respectively, during the first quarter of 2014. When compared to the prior quarter, independent living occupancy increased by 0.2 percentage points, while assisted living occupancy decreased by 0.1 percentage points. The occupancy rate for independent living is now 3.4 percentage points above its cyclical low, while the occupancy of assisted living is 2.4 percentage points above its respective cyclical low.

During the first quarter of 2014, the rate of seniors housing’s annual asking rent growth was unchanged at 1.6%, and was 0.7 percentage points below its pace one year earlier during the first quarter of 2013.

“At 2.1%, annual asking rent growth for assisted living was stronger than for independent living at 1.4%,” says Beth Mace, NIC’s chief economist. She noted that ”rent growth for both sectors exceeded the estimated increase in costs for wages and food, two significant contributors to expense growth for the seniors housing sector.”

Seniors housing annual absorption was 2.2% as of the first quarter of 2014, compared to 2.2% during the fourth quarter of 2013 and 2.1% during the first quarter of 2013.

In the first quarter of 2014, the seniors housing annual inventory growth rate was 1.4%, which is near where it has oscillated since the fourth quarter of 2011. Current construction as a share of existing inventory for seniors housing was 3.1%, which is 0.1 percentage points below that of the previous quarter.

“The recent moderating pace of seniors housing’s overall current construction levels is primarily the result of moderating construction starts in assisted living properties,” says Chuck Harry, NIC’s managing director and director of research and analytics. “In fact, 2014’s first quarter recorded the lowest number of units starting construction within assisted living properties of any quarter during the past four-and-a-half years. Weather may have been a contributing factor, however.”

The nursing care occupancy rate was 88.4% in the first quarter of 2014, an increase of 0.4 percentage points from the fourth quarter of 2013.

Nursing care annual inventory growth was -0.1% in the first quarter of 2014, continuing the established trend of slightly declining inventory growth. Nursing care annual absorption was 0.3% in the first quarter of 2014, which was the first positive gain in nursing care absorption since NIC MAP initiated coverage in the fourth quarter of 2005. Private pay rents for the sector grew 2.8% year-over-year this quarter, which is 0.1 percentage points below the pace of the prior quarter.

NIC MAP Seniors Housing Care Key Metrics for 1Q14

About NIC
The National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry (NIC) is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to facilitate informed investment in the industry. NIC’s NIC MAP® Data and Analysis Service tracks more than 12,600 properties on a quarterly basis in the 100 largest metropolitan markets. Proceeds from NIC’s national conference and other events are used to fund data and research on issues of importance to lenders, investors, providers, developers, 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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