Senior living and care investments are on the rise as the U.S. economy begins to recover from the pandemic.

The number of publicly announced senior housing and care acquisitions in the second quarter was 109, according to acquisition data released Tuesday by Irving Levin Associates. That’s up from 83 deals in the first quarter and represents a 31% increase from earlier in the year. Further, second-quarter acquisitions are 79% higher than they were in the second quarter of 2020.

In dollars, the increase is substantial. Investors spent $6.74 billion on transactions in the second quarter compared with $2.83 billion in the first quarter, a 138% increase from quarter to quarter. And second quarter acquisitions represent nearly half of the publicly disclosed spending in the last four quarters. 

Twenty-nine portfolios with at least three properties per deal made up the largest portion of transactions, Irving Levin said. The largest deal was Ventas’ acquisition of New Senior Investment Group for $2.3 billion. Secondly, Holiday Retirement contributed to the total with a couple of significant transactions, including Atria Senior Living’s purchase of Holiday’s operating business for an undisclosed price and Welltower’s $1.58 billion purchase of Holiday’s 86 owned communities. Following that, 10 total deals in the quarter featured 10 or more properties each, leaving 19 separate transactions with between three and nine properties. 

Independent living made up the lion’s share of senior living investments, due especially to the New Senior and Holiday sales in particular, accounting for 61% of the properties sold in the quarter. Assisted living deals took a 36% share of the quarter’s activity, followed by skilled nursing at 33%. Continuing care retirement communities were the next most popular sector, with 9% of transactions, followed by active adult and affordable senior housing apartments, each accounting for 6% of deals, according to Irving Levin.