Seniors Housing Midyear Outlook
Mass Vaccination Efforts Quell Fear-Induced Headwinds;
Prolonged Recovery Not Detrimental to Long-Term Outlook
Unique disruption dislodged historically stable sector. Seniors housing has been resistant to economic downturns in the past, as there are few alternatives to the care-based services. The pandemic, however, put the sector in the eye of the storm as vulnerable population groups comprise virtually all of the resident pool. Early outbreaks at several facilities led to a surge in move-outs and stalled move-ins. Headwinds lingered into the early months of this year, prior to the widespread vaccine rollout. According to NIC MAP® Data Service, year-over-year occupancy declines as of March spanned from 730 basis points for CCRC/LPC to 960 basis points for memory care. There is light at the end of the tunnel, however, with two-thirds of U.S. adults at least partially inoculated and few outbreaks at seniors housing communities in recent months. A demand tailwind may emerge as more people return to offices and are unable to provide in-home care. Still, occupancy will likely take beyond this year to recover, with intense competition for residents as many facilities are competing to fill units simultaneously.