Although economists have proposed an alphabet soup of possible economic recovery outcomes from the pandemic, for the seniors housing industry in particular, recovery will be exclusively tied to what happens with the COVID-19 virus.

“Instead of a U-curve or a V-curve, I view the industry’s recovery as the track of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride,” Aegis Living CEO Dwayne Clark said Friday during a Marcus & Millichap webinar that examined the future of investments in senior living.

John Chang, senior vice president of research services at Marcus & Millichap, took a similar position. He noted that as the firm has attempted to develop modeling forecasts for the industry, uncertainty has been problematic.

Clark noted that as a result of so many unknown variables related to the virus, his team has mentally prepared that it will negatively affect Aegis for at least two years, possibly three. Even if a vaccine becomes available this fall, it will take a tremendous amount of time to manufacture the vaccine, needles and syringes to administer the vaccine to everyone in the country.

“Even once you finally have enough of everything, how do you vaccinate 328 million people in a weekend?” he said. He noted that although the seniors living industry is likely to see a backlog of new residents as move-ins begin, optionality will be a key component.

“People are going to be scared for a while [about living] in communal settings,” he predicted.

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