Overall occupancy in continuing care retirement / life plan communities increased to 86% in the second quarter in the 99 primary and secondary markets followed by NIC MAP, according to an article in the latest newsletter from specialty investment bank Ziegler. The rate marks a 0.5 percentage point increase compared with the first quarter.

Demand for CCRCs outpaced demand for other types of senior housing and care, said author Omar Zahraoi, a senior data analyst at the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care. The difference in second-quarter occupancy between CCRCs and other types of long-term care was largest relative to independent living, where there was a 7.7 percentage point difference between CCRC occupancy and independent living occupancy, and smallest relative to skilled nursing, where there was a 2.2 percentage point difference.

Within CCRCs, independent living had the highest occupancy in the second quarter, at 89.1%, followed by assisted living at 84.8% and memory care at 84%.

In terms of occupancy improvements from one year ago, however, independent living had the smallest gain across all care/service segments for both life plan communities and other types of senior living communities, Zahraoi wrote in the newsletter.

On average, not-for-profit CCRC occupancy (87.3%) was 5 percentage points higher than that of for-profit CCRCs (82.3%) within the NIC MAP primary and secondary markets. The greatest difference was seen in the West North Central region of the United States, where not-for-profit CCRC occupancy was 11.8 percentage points higher than for-profit CCRCs . The Pacific region was an anomaly — for-profit CCRC occupancy outpaced not-for-profit CCRC occupancy by 5.2 percentage points, Zahraoi said.

For not-for-profit CCRCs, the Mid-Atlantic (89.7%), West North Central (89.5%) and Southeast (88.1%) regions had the strongest occupancy rates. The East North Central region had the lowest occupancy, at 83.9%. For for-profit CCRCs, the Pacific (90.0%), Northeast (83.9%) and Mid-Atlantic (83.7%) regions had the strongest occupancy rates. The Southwest region had the lowest occupancy, at 76.6%.

Year over year, inventory for CCRCs decreased across all care/service segments except memory care; non-CCRCs saw increased inventory in all but skilled nursing. Skilled nursing inventory for both CCRCs and non-CCRCs decreased by 3.4% and 1%, respectively. 

“Negative inventory growth can occur when units/beds are temporarily or permanently taken offline or converted to another care segment, outweighing added inventory,” Zahraoi wrote.