The year-over-year change in occupied units for both assisted living and independent living was positive in August, at 1% and 0.4%, respectively, according to the intraquarterly report published last week by the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care.

“This was the first time annual absorption was seen in the green since June of 2020,” NIC said. 

The overall occupancy rate for senior housing (independent living and assisted living combined) reached an eight-month high of 79.9% in August. Although that rate still is below the pre-pandemic level of 87.4%, the rate has increased 1.2 percentage points from its record low of 78.7% reported for the second quarter.

Occupancy at majority assisted living properties increased or was unchanged in 24 of the 31 primary markets that NIC follows. The Las Vegas assisted living market was the exception, showing a 2.9 percentage point increase in August, bringing occupancy to 74.9%. This rate still is 7 percentage points lower than March 2020. Atlanta, on the other hand, saw assisted living occupancy fall 0.7 percentage points in August, to 71.1%.

Occupancy at majority independent living properties increased or was unchanged in 29 of NIC’s primary markets. San Antonio saw the greatest increase, 1.6 percentage points, to 80.5% in one month’s time. Portland, OR declined, however, by 0.4 percentage points to 87.2%, a rate still above the national average.