Seniors housing stock collectively rose by 0.1% in the second quarter, putting the sector on pace for a 1.5% annual increase, according to new data from the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry.

But a closer look at the numbers reveals some notable swings within the sector, according to the organization.

“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,” said Chuck Harry, NIC’s managing director and director of research and analytics. Conversely, nursing care inventory fell 0.1% in Q2, continuing the downward trend, he said.

The nursing care occupancy rate was 88.2% in the second quarter. The overall average occupancy rate for seniors housing properties in the second quarter of 2014 was 89.9%, an increase of 0.1 percentage points from the prior quarter and a 1.0 percentage point increase from a year earlier. As of the second quarter of 2014, occupancy was 3.0 percentage points above its cyclical low of 86.9% during the first quarter of 2010. 

The occupancy rate for assisted living properties averaged 89.0% during the second quarter of 2014. When compared to the prior quarter, assisted living occupancy decreased by 0.1 percentage point. The occupancy rate of assisted living facilities is 2.4 percentage points above its cyclical low.

During the second quarter of 2014, the rate of seniors housing annual asking rent growth accelerated to 2.0% from 1.7% in the prior quarter, and was 0.2 percentage points below its pace one year earlier, during the second quarter of 2013. 

“The improving job market as well as gains in household confidence may be factors supporting demand for seniors housing,” said NIC chief economist Beth Mace. 

This article originally appeared on McKnight's