Per-bed SNF price plummets in 2017; NIC's cross-sector collaboration to support industry

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Per-bed prices dropped for first time in six years
Per-bed prices dropped for first time in six years

After setting records for five straight years, the average price per-bed for skilled nursing facilities plunged 18% in 2017, according to acquisition data published by Irving Levin Associates on Wednesday.

The report and newsletter publishing company blamed the drop (to $81,350 per bed) on Medicare reimbursement cuts, reduced lengths of stay, rising labor costs and declines in occupancy.

“Given the problems facing the sector, we do not see an improvement in 2018,” said Stephen Monroe, editor of The Senior Care Acquisition Report, 23rd Edition.

Monroe's comments came as the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care kicked off its 2018 Spring Investment Forum. Attendees are exploring the value of collaboration between investors, developers, owners, and operators and care providers serving seniors through Friday in Dallas. NIC also announced a new alliance with PointRight, which will provide data-driven support and analytics to help investors and potential partners better understand factors like rehospitalization and adjusted hospitalization rates.

The assisted living market remains strong, even with pockets of over-development, Monroe said. The average price per-unit paid increased by 14% to a new record of $221,250. The average cap rate for assisted living communities declined to 7.6%, which helped push values higher.

“The market was definitely dominated by higher-quality properties sold in 2017, as well as an abundance of private equity firms flush with new cash to invest,” Monroe said.

In skilled nursing, the 2017 average cap rate remained near historical norms at 12.3%, or just 10 basis points higher than in 2016. It wasn't enough to sustain a bull market that nearly doubled prices over the last five years, but it cushioned the blow.

“Despite all the headwinds facing skilled nursing providers and owners, the average price last year was the third highest on record,” Monroe said.

Meanwhile, the market value for majority independent-living communities units also increased by 1% in 2017, to $230,100 per unit. Irving Levine noted that with more independents adding assisted living units, the market difference is “beginning to blur.”

The Senior Care Acquisition Report, 23rd Edition, can be purchased for $595.