Number crunchers express optimism over seniors housing and care market at NIC meeting

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Charles Harry Jr. NIC director of research and analysis
Charles Harry Jr. NIC director of research and analysis
Investment in seniors housing continues to grow, but operators need to be prepared for the expanding role of managed care and a move toward value-based reimbursement, experts cautioned Thursday at the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry annual conference. 

Seniors housing and care properties fared better than commercial real estate holdings during 2008 and 2009, noted NIC director of research and analysis Charles W. Harry, Jr.  

“We are the only sector during the ‘Great Recession' not to go negative,” Harry said. “Seniors housing was recession resilient.” The result has been expanded interest in the sector by institutional and other outside investors, NIC officials added optimistically.

NIC officials also officially released Thursday the second edition of the “NIC Investment Guide.” Among the numerous informational nuggets in the 120-page guide: Nursing care occupancy was the least affected among the seniors property classes during the recession, but it also is the only segment not yet to have begun a recovery.

While construction loans still can be difficult to obtain, NIC and the American Seniors Housing Association identified a total of 25,369 units under construction as of March 31, 2012. Their “2012 Seniors Housing Construction Trends Report” was also officially released Thursday.

Metropolitan areas that have experienced the most growth in nursing care inventory over the past four years include Austin, TX (14.8%); Richmond, VA (8.5%); Dallas (6.4%) and Houston (5.1%).

In addition, NIC announced the winner of the Prudential Real Estate Investors Award for Best Research Paper in 2012. “Adult Children of CCRC Residents: Their Perceptions, Insights and Implications for Shaping the Future CCRC” was written by Vice President of Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging Linda Hollinger-Smith, Ph.D., RN, FAAN; Mather's Vice President of Senior Living Strategic Initiatives Kathryn Brod; Susan Brecht; and Mather president and CEO Mary Leary. They received a $2,500 total cash prize for their work, which was based on a sample of 3,647 family members of residents living in continuing care retirement communities.

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