Housing report offers bleak financing picture for seniors housing construction, organizations say

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Construction activity has slowed significantly in the seniors housing sector, according to a report released Thursday. The findings mirror a general lack of capital for new construction, creators of the report said.

The report is a "reflection of a dearth of capital for new construction activity," said David Schless, president of the American Seniors Housing Association. ASHA produced the report along with the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry.

Between the end of the first quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010, construction starts were down 32% from the prior year and had fallen 57% from two years ago for all combined seniors housing and care properties. There was also a drop-off in entrance-fee continuing care retirement community construction. It accounted for 13% of all units under construction during the period studied, compared to 22% in 2009. Markets with the most construction were Dallas, New York and San Francisco.

The report provides a “macro-perspective” of units and properties under construction or that have started construction in the top 100 metropolitan markets, Schless said. The report covers senior living apartments, as well as independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing units.