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.
A Pandmeic Initiative In spring 2020, responding to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, NIC launched numerous initiatives to help senior living leaders understand and improve their responses to the crisis. Given the pace of change impacting the industry, NIC began to produce a high volume of relevant and timely data and analysis more frequently than ever before. In just a few months, NIC produced an entire suite of resources aimed at improving access to data and analysis relevant to the impact of COVID-19 on the senior housing and care industry. Part of that effort was to release the NIC Intra-Quarterly Snapshot reports, which, like several other pandemic-related NIC initiatives, is still being produced today.
“Lead volumes are improving. In Wave 34 of the survey, one-third of organizations report lead volumes reaching pre-pandemic levels (33%), up from just one-fifth back in April 2021 (20%). During the pandemic new construction lending had slowed sharply. A recent increase in construction lending is reflected in the Wave 34 survey where 41% of respondent organizations now expect their development pipelines to increase.
In March and April of 2021, researchers from the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care (NIC) and the nonpartisan and objective research organization, NORC at the University of Chicago (NORC). spoke with a dozen senior housing and care operators about their experiences, challenges, and successes throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency during 2020. Discussion topics included workflow changes implemented in response to various state and federal requirements, testing strategies employed, PPE access, challenges with dementia care residents, interventions to address loneliness and social isolation, and efforts to vaccinate residents and staff.