Sector growth draws interest

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Unlike other real estate options, seniors housing continued to grow throughout the Great Recession. That's one reason why institutional investors are intrigued by its potential, said Robert G. Kramer. 

“We never saw negative rent growth,” the president and CEO of the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry pointed out at the organization's recent annual meeting in Chicago.

He added that since 2003, seniors housing also has “shown stability and a lack of volatility in our investment returns compared to all the other commercial real estate property types.”

But if the sector has been recession resilient, growth remains a challenge. Construction as a share of existing inventory hovered at a less than robust 2.1% during the second quarter, according to new NIC data.

Among units under construction, nursing care units account for about 19%. The largest share — 40%— belongs to senior apartments. Dallas had the largest increase in the number of new seniors housing properties during the past four years.