Lana Peck

Orlando, FL, is the hottest market for independent living development, Detroit is the hottest market for assisted living development and Cincinnati is the hottest market for development in memory care, a subset of assisted living, Lana Peck, senior principal of the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care, said at a session at the organization’s 2017 Spring Investment Forum in San Diego.

The findings come from the NIC MAP Data Service and represent the highest levels of construction as a share of inventory in the 31 top primary markets as of the fourth quarter of 2016.

For majority independent living, the hottest markets are Orlando, FL; Washington, D.C.; Atlanta; San Antonio; and Houston. The latter two cities are in the bottom five for occupancy in the 31 top primary markets, however.

“Absorption hasn’t kept pace, and occupancy in these two primary markets is some of the lowest,” Peck said March 23.

For majority assisted living, the five top markets are Detroit, Denver, Phoenix, Chicago and Orlando, FL.

In memory care, the hottest markets are Cincinnati, St. Louis, Chicago, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. St. Louis and Washington are among the top five cities for occupancy among the top 31 primary markets, Peck said.

The top five core-based statistical areas with the most new construction (not including expansions within existing properties) are Chicago, with 31 properties; Dallas, 19; Denver, 16; Minneapolis, 15; and Houston, 14.

Most of that activity, Peck said, is in assisted living and memory care, although independent living construction is taking place as well, and in Chicago, some continuing care retirement communities, also known as life plan communities, are being built.