Continuing care retirement community occupancy fell 1.4% from the fourth quarter to 84.3%, according to an analysis by specialty investment bank Ziegler, using NIC MAP data. The drop signals another new low since the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care began reporting in 2006. 

In addition, the cumulative drop in CCRC occupancy was 7.2% year over year — 3.8% higher than non-CCRCs. Entrance fee CCRC occupancy, which dropped to 86.8% in the first quarter, was 6.7% higher than rental CCRC occupancy, which fell to 80.1%.

Data showed that occupancy within non-profit CCRCs (86.1%) remained higher than for-profit CCRCs (79.3%). NIC MAP data currently tracks 1,208 not-for-profit and for-profit entrance fee and rental CCRCs, also known as life plan communities, in 140 combined markets.

Some of these occupancy trends may have to do with the fact that non-CCRCs had higher rates of inventory growth by segment than CCRCs. The highest rates of inventory growth were reported for non-CCRCs in the memory care and independent living care segments (4.6% and 3.6%), whereas the lowest were reported for both CCRCs and non-CCRCs in the nursing care segment (–0.6% and –0.3%, respectively). 

“Negative inventory growth can occur when units/beds that are temporarily or permanently taken offline, or converted to another care segment, outweigh added inventory,” noted Lana Peck, senior principal at NIC.