Occupancy rates at epic lows

The occupancy picture did not improve for skilled nursing or assisted living facilities in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Occupancy remained at 86.8% in skilled nursing, according to data released in mid-January by the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care.

The rate was the lowest level since at least 2005, NIC officials said. 

The SNF annual inventory growth rate also remained steady for the quarter — at virtually 0%.

While private pay rents for the nursing care sector rose 2.6% in the fourth quarter, it still represented a 0.5 percentage point drop from year-earlier rates. It is the slowest rent growth since at least 2006, NIC said.

In addition, assisted living occupancy rates fell 0.3 percentage points from the third quarter, leaving the sector at its lowest level of occupancy since early 2010.