Do recent events warrant cautious optimism or are we being pollyanna? Some of the news / transactions below show recent activity that trends towards a more positive outlook for both Senior Housing and the broader market:
- The August 2009 S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indexes show the rate of decline in home prices is slowing – The 20-city index in August was down 11.3% from a year earlier versus last December down 18.5%
- Sunrise Sells Properties To Brookdale – Sale of Property To Deleverage and Take Profits For Working Capital And Other Uses
- Sunrise Extends Maturity – Restructure of Debt
- Erickson Retirement Files Chapter 11 – Restructure of Debt, Interested Purchaser/Investor After Restructure Of Debt
- Stock Market Is Up From March Lows – Seniors Are Seeing Their Portfolios Recover (Somewhat)
But with the positives, come the concerns:
- NIC Conference Highlights Challenges And Opportunities For Coming Year – Limited Construction Activity For Senior Housing in 2010 leading to Constrained Supply.
- Will Failure To Renew First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit Stall Housing Market Again?
- Will Health Care Reform Confuse and Cause Seniors More Reasons To Be Concerned/Nervous?
- Consumer Confidence Index declined to 47.7 (1985=100), down from 53.4 in September, trending in the wrong direction
What does this mean? The latest news shows that senior living operators/providers are making hard choices to move forward rather than “wait for things to get better” and while some of the consumer trends are positive, the don’t point to a solid footing yet. While the short-term effects of the actions may cause pain for investors / lenders and promote uncertainty among customers, it means that the longer term prospects for the senior living market are looking better as market participants have begun taking their tough medicine now rather than prolonging the sickness.