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 New Data Examine CCRC Occupancy Levels Compared to Assisted Living, SNFs

New data on regional occupancy levels for Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) compared with non-CCRC communities for the third quarter of last year show CCRCs with higher occupancy than other care settings, including assisted living and skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). 

The analysis was part of a blog written by Lana Peck, a senior principal at the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC). She said the data are “useful for understanding the regional occupancy performance of independent living, assisted living, memory care, and nursing care segments.”

Peck noted that occupancy rate used was the “all occupancy” rate, which includes units still in lease-up as well as those occupied.

Across all regions, third quarter 2018 CCRC occupancy in the 99 Primary and Secondary metropolitan markets that NIC tracks was 90.8 percent, which is five percentage points higher than non-CCRCs (85.8 percent).

“Generally speaking, this difference is perhaps due in part to the CCRC product profile, which tends to attract planners who wish to make one move to a continuum of care, or perhaps because new CCRC residents are generally healthier than residents in other types of seniors housing, resulting in lower resident turnover in CCRCs,” Peck said.

One other potential reason for the gap could be the inventory mix in the CCRC analysis aggregation (both entrance fee and rental payment options, combined). “Note that 98.8 percent of non-CCRC segments were rental, whereas CCRC segments were comprised of 63.3 percent entrance fee and 36.7 percent rental payment models,” she said.

Across the various care segments, occupancy at CCRCs was also generally higher than non-CCRCs. For example, assisted living occupancy was more than five percentage points higher for CCRCs than non-CCRCs (91.2 percent vs. 85.8 percent) with the greatest differences in CCRC assisted living segment occupancy compared with non-CCRCs in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions (differences of 7.8 and 7.7 percentage points, respectively).

NIC said memory care segment occupancy was more than 6 percentage points higher for CCRCs than non-CCRCs (89.4 percent vs. 82.7 percent), as the greatest gap in occupancy for this comparison was in the East North Central region (12.0 percentage points), the Southwest region (10.0 percentage points), and the Mid-Atlantic region (9.6 percentage points).

For SNFs, the data show nursing care segment occupancy 2.7 percentage points higher for CCRCs than non-CCRCs (88.0 percent vs. 85.3 percent). “The West North Central and Southwest regions had the greatest differences in CCRC nursing care segment occupancy compared with non-CCRCs (7.2 and 7.0 percentage points, respectively),” Peck said.

Non-CCRCs had higher occupancy than CCRCs in the following care settings by region: independent living in the West North Central region (a difference of 1.8 percentage points), memory care in the Mountain region (a difference of 3.1 percentage points), and nursing care in the Mountain and Pacific regions (differences of 1.1 and 0.6 percentage points, respectively).

Peck said more analysis is needed to fully explain regional differences in CCRC occupancy performance in comparison with non-CCRC segments. “Contributing factors that could be explored include economic drivers such as industry mix, cost of doing business and living costs, employment growth, the health of the residential housing market in terms of home sales prices, and velocity,” Peck said.

For the complete blog, go to www.nic.org.

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