2019 saw a total of 447 deals in the senior housing and care sector, a full-year record and 5% higher than the 2018 total of 426 deals, according to Irving Levin Associates. 

The increase was attributed to inexpensive capital.

The sector saw 110 acquisition transactions in the fourth quarter, marking a 7%  increase from the 103 announced deals in the third quarter and the seventh consecutive quarter that such deals numbered more than 100, Irving Levin said. The total reported dollar value of the transactions, however, fell to $3.6 billion, down 37% from the third quarter.

Deals involving independent living, assisted living, memory care, continuing care retirement and active adult communities accounted for 69% of the transactions, up from 58% in the third quarter. The senior living transactions also accounted for the top 16 publicly disclosed prices in the quarter, Irving Levin said.

Private operators were involved in almost half of the acquisitions in the fourth quarter, with real estate investment trusts and real estate investment firms accounting for at least 27% and private equity firms responsible for at least 10%.

REIT Welltower had five deals, the most of any organization in the quarter. The Ensign Group announced four deals, and Kayne Anderson closed on two.

The largest deal, by disclosed price, was announced by Healthpeak Properties, formerly HCP, which acquired Brookdale Senior Living’s 51% interest in 13 CCRC campuses for $541 million.