Seniors Housing and Skilled Nursing
Pent-Up Need for Critical Services Drives Record Absorption;
Labor Shortage and Inflated Operating Costs Curb Sentiment
Two-thirds of relinquished units refilled in the second half of 2021. Across the final six months of last year, more than 30,000 seniors housing units were absorbed, according to NIC Map® Data Service. This was a very impressive rebound after roughly 44,000 units were relinquished on a net basis during the four quarters following the onset of the pandemic. The recovery last year was driven by a pent-up need for the care services that seniors housing communities provide, as well as a higher level of confidence among prospective residents once more of the population became vaccinated. This allowed move-ins to exceed pre-pandemic levels, while move-outs largely stabilized. Nonetheless, momentum was impeded in early 2022 amid the omicron surge, though case counts have since fallen and fears of community transmission have generally subsided. The potential for another unexpected variant leaves the near-term outlook enveloped with uncertainty, but the strong recovery last year and an aging baby boomer demographic substantiate a robust demand outlook in the years ahead.