Senior housing occupancy increases during Q3

Occupancy rose in senior housing during the third quarter.

Those property management companies with interests in senior housing experienced that multifamily property type had an occupancy increase during the third quarter.

The National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry showed in its report that occupancy rose to 88.8 percent, which was two basis points higher than the second quarter. Additionally, the latest figure was eight basis points higher than the same three months in 2011. The increase was the 10th quarter in a row where a rise occurred.

"Occupancy is now at a four-year high and, with inventory growth remaining tempered, we should continue to see occupancy recover in the near-term," said Michael Hargrave, vice president of NIC MAP.

The report also explained that the figure is now close to 2 percent higher than the cycle's low point, which was 87 percent, recorded during the first quarter of 2010.

Annual absorption was at a rate of 2.2 percent last quarter, which was one percentage point lower than the previous quarter, according to the report. However, the figure rose year-over-year, as that quarter showed a rate of 1.9 percent.

Rent growth also shows improvement signs
The level of asking rent growth per year rose during the third quarter, while other indicators remained steady or improved, slightly, the report showed. The rent growth last quarter totaled 2.2 percent, which was a two-basis-point increase from the second quarter's figure, while it was also 0.6 percent higher than the same period in 2011.

Chuck Harry, the director of research and analysis for NIC, explained that this was the highest rent growth point since the final three months of 2009, and also rose to a level higher than inflation for the first time in nearly two years.

Inventory growth, when measured on an annual basis, was at a rate of 1.3 percent, the report noted. This was no different from the second quarter's statistic, but was higher than the 1 percent recorded during the third quarter of 2011. Construction levels managed to decline 0.2 percent from the second quarter, to the current level of 2 percent.

Harry added that while the lack of current construction may seem like a negative figure, many properties were completed, while fewer construction starts occurred.

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