Growth for asking rates for independent living, assisted living and memory care each hit “near record highs” in the first quarter, National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care Chief Economist and Director of Outreach Beth Burnham Mace wrote Friday in a blog post.

The finding is based on data from the NIC MAP Vision Actual Rates Report for the quarter.

Independent living saw the biggest year-over-year rate growth among senior living segments, at 9.6% in March, Mace noted. For those already residing in independent living communities, rent increased 7.5% year over year, on average.

“These were nearly the highest rates of growth [since NIC MAP Vision began tracking] for these rates, except for January 2022, when many rates rose with lease renewals and annual adjustments,” she said.

In February, average asking rates for assisted living hit a high rate of growth of 11.5%, which according to Mace was the biggest year-over-year jump since NIC MAP Vision began tracking. Asking rate growth reached 9.1% in March.

“Of the three tracked memory care rate categories (in-place, asking and initial/move-in), the fastest pace of growth occurred in asking rates, which were up by 9.1% from year-earlier levels in March 2023. In-place rates were up by 9.0% from year-earlier levels in March 2023 and initial rates were up by 7.4%,” she noted.

According to the data, occupancy among all segments of senior living — independent living, assisted living and memory care — averaged 83.2% in the first quarter, marking a 30-basis-point increase from the first quarter.  The occupancy rate for independent living held steady quarter over quarter at an average of 85.2%. Assisted living and memory care properties’ average occupancy rose 70 basis points to 81.2% quarter over quarter.

Meanwhile, skilled nursing saw the biggest jump in occupancy from the prior quarter, with a 130-basis-point surge from 80% in the fourth quarter of 2022 to 81.3% in the first quarter of 2023.