Nursing home inventory shrank, assisted living hit highest-ever growth rate, quarterly data shows

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Assisted living inventory growth reached a historic high in the second quarter of 2014, while nursing home inventory continued its slight downward trajectory, according to data released Friday by the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry.

Seniors housing construction has been moderate, and this trend continued in the second quarter, noted Charles W. Harry Jr., NIC's managing director and director of research and analytics. The annual inventory growth rate for the quarter was 1.5%. 

“But the resulting rates of inventory growth for independent living and assisted living are quite different,” Harry said. “Annual inventory growth for independent living registered only 0.5%, while assisted living's inventory grew by 3.1% and marks its fastest rate of growth ever within the NIC MAP® time series which dates back to 2007.”

Inventory growth for nursing care was minus-0.1%, from minus-0.2% in the first quarter of the year. Nursing home occupancy was down slightly, going from 88.4% in the first quarter to 88.2% in the second.

Overall, seniors housing occupancy ticked up 0.1 percentage points, to reach 89.9%.

An improving economy likely is driving demand for seniors housing, NIC Chief Economist Beth Mace said. The unemployment rate reached its lowest levels since 2008 and household confidence is on the rise, she explained.

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