The Labor Department reported that there were 273,000 jobs added in February. This was more than the consensus estimate of 175,000 and marked the 113th consecutive month of job gains. For all of 2019, average monthly gains were less at 178,000. For 2018, monthly gains averaged 193,000 and for 2017, monthly gains averaged 176,000. The latter data points were revised from prior estimates.
Las Vegas ranks 31st of the NIC MAP® 31 Primary Markets in size, with roughly 4,400 units situated in 36 properties. In the fourth quarter of 2019, it had a seniors housing occupancy rate of 84.1%, fourth lowest among the 31 markets (Phoenix, Atlanta and Houston were lower). Stabilized occupancy was considerably higher at 88.9%, pushing its rank to 20th among the Primary Markets, and Las Vegas’ median occupancy rate was even higher at 91.3%, giving it a rank of 18th among the Primary Markets. The wide disparity in occupancy rates reflects both the large number of units recently opened but that remain empty and some properties with very low occupancy rates that are dragging down the average.
Average seniors housing price per unit reaches over $200,000 for first time. There was no shortage of activity in the U.S. seniors housing and care transactions market in 2019. The story of abundant liquidity continued throughout the year with the number of closed transactions reaching a time-series high going back to 2008. Indeed, there was no sign of reduced interest from investors and the transaction market continued to show significant activity once again which, barring any economic or capital market shocks, is most likely to continue into 2020.
Scott Brinker, president and chief investment officer of Healthpeak, the nation’s third largest healthcare REIT, recently expressed frustration with the limitations of seniors housing data, that fails to provide insights into rate discounting. In Healthpeak’s fourth quarter, 2019 earnings call, Brinker said, “From where we sit today, occupancy across the sector is generally flat, which is certainly an improvement from where it’s been the past three years or four years. But too often, I think that occupancy is coming at the expense of discounting and incentives,