Senior living benchmarks continue to improve, finance expert notes

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An improving economy, an aging nation and enhanced funding sources are fueling growth in the senior living sector, according to a leading industry analyst.

Michael Hargrave — chief market and data strategist for the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry — offered a generally upbeat look at industry benchmarks yesterday during a McKnight's Super Tuesday webinar.

Hargrave noted that occupancy rates for independent living rose to 89.3% in the first quarter. Skilled facilities (88%) and continuing care retirement communities (89%) were essentially unchanged, while assisted living (88.8%) was down by about 0.1%. Hargrave said the sector can anticipate slow but steady growth in the months ahead.

Funding sources are also showing improvement, he added. Real estate investment trusts remain a dominant funding source. But banks, finance companies, commercial mortgage backed securities and even the Department of Housing and Urban Development are loosening up their purse strings, he added.

To view the one-hour event, click here.