Report: Skilled nursing average price per bed falls

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The average price per bed paid for skilled nursing facilities fell 17%, while there was a resurgence in the average price per unit for assisted living and independent living facilities in 2003, says a report released Wednesday by Irving Levin Associates.

The average price paid for skilled nursing facilities in 2003 was $31,650 per bed, the lowest since 1993. More than half of the deals in 2003 were for less than $30,000 per bed, compared with 39% in 2002.

The average price per unit sold in the assisted living sector increased 11% to $72,500 per unit, though that fell short of record prices in 2000 and 2001. In independent living, the average price per unit also jumped nearly 11% compared with 2002.  At least 50% of these communities, however, had assisted living, including the six highest per-unit deals.

"It appears that the skilled nursing facility market has finally bottomed out, and we expect that the surge in public equity prices for the large chains in 2003 will translate into higher bed prices in 2004, especially with the higher Medicare rates," said Stephen M. Monroe, partner and editor of the report.