Senior housing transaction volume in the second quarter was down 78% from the first quarter, mainly because of a decrease in institutional buyers, according to Bill Kauffman, senior principal at the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care. Volume from public buyers was weak, too, however, he added.

Transaction volume for seniors housing was $873 million in the first quarter compared with $4 billion in the second quarter.

The numbers are somewhat misleading, however, Kauffman wrote in a blog post, because most of the buyer volume in the first quarter came from Blackstone’s purchase of $1.9 billion in properties from HCP and Welltower. But closed volume still was weak for the second quarter, which appears to have experienced the lowest volume for seniors housing and care since the first quarter of 2012, he said.

“Putting aside those two first-quarter deals, there was a decline in seniors housing in the second quarter, but, of course, not nearly as much,” Kauffman wrote. “One could argue that when large deals close in a given quarter, it will be hard to beat and/or match that trend in the following quarter. And that’s what we had in the second quarter.”

The good news, he said, is that some recent deals should drive volume higher by the end of the year.