Largest Senior Housing Owners, Operators of 2015

In yet another demonstration of the huge scale Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD) achieved by acquiring rival Emeritus last year, the company seized the No. 1 spot—with a bullet—on the American Seniors Housing Association’s annual rankings of the largest senior housing owners in the United States.

Brentwood, Tennessee-based Brookdale now owns 976 properties, totaling 82,356 units, the newly released rankings show. This unit count is a “milestone” in the ASHA rankings, according to the association.

Brookdale, which was the third-largest owner in 2014, easily eclipsed the previous No. 1, Chicago-based real estate investment trust Ventas Inc. (NYSE: VTR). Ventas has 785 properties, encompassing 69,708 units.


The other “Big Three” REITs—Health Care REIT (NYSE: HCN) and HCP Inc. (NYSE: HCP)—follow at Nos. 3 and 4, respectively. Senior Housing Properties Trust (NYSE: SNH) rounds out the top five.

NorthStar Healthcare was a significant mover, as it increased its portfolio by 10,444 units, to reach 17,514. The REIT was ranked the seventh largest owner in 2015, up from No. 16 in 2014.

New Senior Investment Group (NYSE: SNR)—a REIT focused on private pay senior housing—debuted at No. 9, after spinning off from Newcastle Investment Corporation last year.


Publicly traded companies accounted for the majority of total owned units (63%), even though they represented less than a third of the total owners on the list.

The median portfolio size among the top 50 owners was 5,217 units, and total units owned came to 585,451.

ASHA also ranks the largest operators, and Brookdale naturally retained its position as leader of the pack. At 110,443 units, it dwarfs No. 2 Holiday Retirement. The Oregon-based Holiday has 37.657 units. The pecking order remains the same as in 2014, with LCS, Five Star Senior Living and Sunrise Senior Living LLC completing the top five.

The median portfolio size for the top 50 operators was 4,395 units. The total units operated came to 494,548.

The rankings represent holdings as of June 1, 2015, provided to ASHA by senior officers from each company. The rankings include independent living and assisted living units, and memory care and skilled nursing units beds that are part of a larger campus, such as a continuing care retirement community. The list does not include properties where more than 30% of units are skilled nursing, however.

ASHA’s rankings largely are in line with those from another association, the Assisted Living Federation of America. Brookdale topped the latest ALFA rankings in terms of resident capacity, while HCN took the title of largest non-provider owner as measured by total investments.

Written by Tim Mullaney

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