“Recent data from NIC’s Executive Survey Insights, NIC MAP® Data, powered by NIC MAP Vision, and NIC Analytics suggest that cautious optimism may be justified as occupancy rates appear to have reached their low points around the end of March and are gradually improving for many operators of seniors housing and care properties across the nation. Between 48% and 71% of organizations reported upward changes in occupancy depending on the type of care segment. Of note, more than a third of organizations with assisted living residences and nearly one-half with nursing care beds saw occupancy increases of three percentage points or more.
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.
“Executive Survey Insights results suggest that the seniors housing and care market fundamentals may have reached a turning point at the end of March 2021. According to survey respondents, leads volume continues to grow and the shares of organizations reporting accelerations in move-ins continues to trend positively. These leading indicators have been translating into higher occupancy rates since the Wave 25 survey, conducted in the latter half of March.”
“Are we beginning to see signs of an upward inflection point in occupancy? The market fundamentals data continue trending positively as seen in the most recent ESI results. Between 40% and 57% of organizations reported upward changes in occupancy depending on care segment. This is especially the case for nursing care. The survey shows a clear trend of 50% or more organizations with nursing care beds reporting occupancy rate increases for six consecutive waves of survey data (collected between February 8 and May 2), without notable increases in the pace of move-outs. Moreover, data compiled in NIC’s Skilled Nursing COVID-19 Tracker clearly shows that COVID-19 cases in skilled nursing communities have fallen dramatically and at a faster pace than the broader population since the launch dates of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in long-term care settings in late December. These results are further substantiated by an increase, albeit modest, in February skilled nursing occupancy statistics as reported in NIC’s May Skilled Nursing Data Report.” –Lana Peck, Senior Principal, NIC