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The occupancy rate within majority independent living organizations fell just 0.2% last month. It was a new low of 82.5%, but the drop was the smallest month-over-month decline since March 2020, when the pandemic began and independent living occupancy sat at 89.7%.

That’s according to the latest intra-quarterly NIC MAP data powered by NIC MAP Vision, released Tuesday.

Within majority assisted living properties, the occupancy rate dropped just 0.3% for the February reporting period, less than the 1.2% drop recorded in January but the same as December. The all-occupancy rate for this sector now sits at 76.1%, according to the report. 

The release also showed that inventory among independent living within the NIC MAP primary markets is up 2.4% compared with a year ago, whereas assisted living inventory has increased by 2.9%. Cleveland has seen the largest independent living occupancy decline since March 2020, reporting a decline of 13.9% to a February occupancy rate of 77.5%. 

“The drop is largely explained by strong growth in inventory from year-earlier levels,” the report authors wrote.