assisted living operators are increasing their charges / rents

Combination independent living and assisted living communities continue to be the most desirable type of senior housing property to investors, according to a new report.

Real estate service company JLL’s “Seniors Housing Investor Survey and Trends, Spring 2019” report summarizes responses to a survey primarily from lenders, operators and consultants gauging their opinions related to senior-only apartments, independent living communities, assisted living communities, memory care communities, continuing care retirement communities and nursing care facilities.

Eighty-eight percent of survey respondents ranked combined independent and assisted living communities (with or without memory care) as a “very desirable” or “extremely desirable” investment, a slight increase compared with JLL’s previous survey. At 44% each, the “very desirable” and “extremely desirable” assessments for the combined communities were the highest of any sector measured.

Freestanding independent and assisted living communities also were popular compared with other sectors of senior housing, with 91% of respondents saying that stand-alone independent living communities were a “very desirable” or “extremely desirable” investment and 57% saying the same thing about stand-alone assisted living communities.

Meanwhile, more than 40% of respondents ranked nursing facility investment as “not at all desirable,” although JLL said the response was a significant improvement over last year’s 56%.

Three-fourths of respondents said seniors-only apartments are competitive, to a degree, with independent living communities. Noting that the average age at move-in for seniors-only apartments is in the low 70s and the average age at move-in for independent living is in the low 80s, however, JLL said, “The 10-year variance in the average age at entry may indicate that Seniors Only Apartments are simply a new subsector, and capable of coexisting with Independent Living without causing a significant impact on Independent Living performance.”