Senior Housing investors who are eager to fill the gap between supply and demand, expect to acquire more healthcare real estate as they look forward to growth through acquisition and development. Senior Living industry leaders see that the demand for senior housing is expected to grow as the population of older Americans is projected to double by 2050. That growth is sparking increased activity in the entire Healthcare market for Assisted living, independent living, Continuing care communities, Skilled Nursing facilities, and transitional post acute care facilities. The market for senior housing mergers and acquisitions continues to shatter records and expectations, making 2014 a landmark year for the Healthcare industry.
REITs, public and private equity firms and foreign investors are all competing for acquisition opportunities. According to statistics, more than 50%of the acquisitions are being completed by local and regional providers, 40% by publicly traded and national chains, and the rest by private equity and not-for-profit. In 2013 non-traded REITs raised 20 billion in capital carving out their roles as significant players in senior housing figures. Non-traded REIT’s have raised approximately 11 billion year to date. In 2014 the BIG THREE REIT’s have already acquired several billion dollar portfolio deals. Reported at the recent Chicago Nic Conference, the three REITs have been responsible for 7 billion of transactions year to date. A California based private equity firm is moving forward with plans to develop 750 million worth of new construction over the next three years for which it is enlisting foreign investors to help fund a portion of the pipeline.
The growing demand for Senior Housing includes seniors of varied financial capability. There is the demand for high end Assisted Living for the affluent, but there is also a growing need for low-to moderate income senior housing for those seniors with less financial resources. The gap in care offers the investor the opportunity to provide more affordable options not only for the 3.5 million seniors currently living below the poverty level, but also for the middle class Americans who are aging. Developers who formally sought inexpensive building sites, now are biting the head of the snake and building in highly regulated zoning areas like California and New York.
The future looks bright for the Healthcare Industry in the 21st century as we see increased investor interest in all types of Senior Housing. It is no longer viewed as an investment just in a singular property type, but as an accepted asset class in a “complex delivery of care”.