Senior Housing Construction Sees Uptick in 2011, Independent Living Leads the Charge

Senior housing starts gained more than 50% during 2010-2011, but still fall short of their pre-recession level by nearly 10,000 units. Of current units under construction, nearly half are senior apartments, with the remaining half comprising assisted living, nursing care and independent living units, says a seniors housing industry report published in October.

Independent Living units led the charge in senior housing construction over the past year, with 6,428 units under construction in the 100 largest metropolitan markets, as of March 31, 2011, according to the report. In the senior housing sector, assisted living units and nursing care saw the next highest volume of construction, according to the most recent Seniors Housing Construction Trends Report 2011, released by the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry (NIC) and the American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA).

The industry saw an increase from 9,642 new unit starts to 14,942 starts, but still fell well below the 2007-2008 level of 23,685. The composition of those under construction includes 56% affordable, 8% market rate and 36% HUD 202.

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Among the top 10 metro areas for seniors housing, Dallas has seen the greatest increase in independent living inventory over the last five years at 28.2%, followed by Boston (27.6%), the study reports. For majority assisted living inventory, Chicago has gained 43.1% over that time frame and for majority nursing care inventory, Dallas gained 12.1% while eight of the remaining nine metro areas decreased in their number of units.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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