This blog features the NIC Analytics Demand Pulse Metric (DPM) for third quarter 2021 (3Q2021), a measure that examines senior housing demand (occupied units) for the NIC MAP® 31 Primary Markets and provides a window into the strength of a market based on occupied stock trends. The demand pulse metric pinpoints when 3Q2021 demand levels were last seen before the pandemic began to influence the senior housing sector in 1Q2020 and tracks demand growth and progress across the 31 Primary Markets.
Since the start of the pandemic, senior housing properties have all experienced wide-ranging pandemic-related challenges, but the depth of the demand contraction has differed across markets. As senior housing demand began to recover in the second quarter of 2021 and registered its strongest increase the following quarter (3Q2021), NIC MAP® data, powered by NIC MAP Vision, shows that certain markets are recovering quickly, while others continue to lag. Due to the skewed pandemic impact the sector has experienced, the demand recovery paths and timelines are proving to be uneven across both markets and properties.
The recently released NIC MAP® Data, powered by NIC MAP Vision, show that the seniors housing occupancy rate remained unchanged for the aggregated 31 NIC MAP Primary Markets in the second quarter of 2021. However, a recent analysis by NIC Analytics digs further and finds a substantial rise in the share of properties with increasing occupancy rates in 2Q2021.
While it is still early to say if the seniors housing and care market is showing strong and durable signs of a recovery, several indicators from the NIC MAP® Data, powered by NIC MAP Vision, and from NIC Analytics have sparked cautious optimism and suggest that we may be at least at the bottom of the cycle. Occupancy rates may have reached the low point in February and March of 2021; however, the outlook for when occupancy will return to pre-pandemic levels remains a question.