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Senior Housing > Blog > 2017 > October

Are Senior Housing Residents Getting Younger?

As we continue to look at the top trends impacting senior housing right now, it’s important to point out that it seems many senior housing communities are catering to younger residents. A couple of months ago we discussed how aging in luxury is the next big trend, and that goes along with today’s topic. A new study indicates that newly constructed luxury senior living communities are becoming highly sought after, especially by younger seniors. The reason for this? Many industry experts believe seniors are starting to downsize much sooner than in the past. This is why senior living providers and construction companies that are focusing on building higher-end properties on a bigger scale are doing well.

As people begin to enter retirement age and move into this next chapter in their lives, it is becoming increasingly clear that they are looking for a place to land that has all the amenities of home (and then some), with the comfort and support of an assisted living community. From access to a golf course, spa, and technology, to larger living spaces that cater to aging, there are many directions senior living providers can go in. However, it is important to pay attention to what today’s seniors want, not what worked in the past. When people make the move a skilled nursing facility (SNF) or senior living community, they aren’t necessarily looking to completely change their lifestyle. Seniors of today are looking for a community that will provide them with the comforts of home and allow them to maintain their lifestyle.

Luxury Senior Living At Its Finest

Certain parts of the country – like California and New York – may be more adept to these models of senior living than others. This is due to numerous factors, but for one these residents are more accustomed to paying a higher price for living. Many of the luxury senior homes and communities that are seeing popping up all over the country right now come with a hefty price tag: $500,000 and up. For some seniors, this number is extravagant, but for many others, it is well worth the price to live in luxury and comfort. This is why market research is so important. Making sure their is a market for a higher-end senior living community is imperative if you want to succeed.

For more on senior living trends, please contact Shep Roylance of The JCH Group.

Senior Housing Occupancy Rates Increase – Slightly

Good news for senior living providers – occupancy rates are on the up-and-up for assisted living communities. While the industry still has a long way to go, a new report published by the National Investment Centers for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC) indicated occupancy rates for skilled nursing facilities reached 86.6% in the third quarter of 2017. This is a 0.2% increase from the second quarter of 2017, so not a substantial increase, but a step in the right direction. The NIC indicates that the third quarter of 2016 was at a record low in regards to occupancy rates. While the increase in occupancy rates is a good sign for the industry, experts warn investors and providers alike to not get too excited. It is always good to see an improvement, but it is important to pay attention to various trends and wait to see how the fourth quarter closes out for 2017 before we start making any bold claims.

There are numerous reasons we believe occupancy rates are rising, namely from slow inventory growth. However, as senior living providers continue to adapt to the new generation of senior living residents and integrate modern ideas – such as technology and urban communities – we fully expect occupancy rates to continue on this path. Take, for example, independent living properties. In the third quarter of 2017, the occupancy rate for these facilities was 90.5%. While this is a .6%  drop from this time last year, it is still an improvement from years past.

When it comes to the senior housing community, we expect steady inventory and occupancy growth over the next several years. As senior living providers and investors continue to adapt to today’s modern seniors, we will see these rates increase and a new type of senior housing develop. Baby Boomers are aging, and SNFs must keep up if they are going to remain in business. Senior living residents of today have different than past generations, something that is imperative to keep in mind when looking at investment opportunities. Check out our public senior housing inventory here and please do not hesitate to reach out to Shep Roylance if you have any questions about investing in a property.