Industry Opinion Divided on Pace of Senior Housing Development

It may seem as though concerns about senior housing oversupply are being voiced with increasing frequency—but these concerns aren’t entirely pervasive.

In fact, the senior housing industry may have a fair number of people who believe that the amount of development currently taking place is “just right,” according to the Q1 2017 Quarterly Senior Housing Sentiment Report, recently released by Senior Housing News.

The report includes survey responses from 223 Senior Housing News subscribers, 48% of whom identified themselves as senior housing operators. The rest of the respondents identified themselves as—among other things—developers, builders, real estate professionals, institutional and private equity investors, and employees of private or public real estate investment trusts (REITs).


About 39% of the survey respondents said there’s too much senior housing development currently taking place. Major providers like Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD) and owners such as Ventas Inc. (NYSE: VTR) have noted they are currently experiencing significant new supply in some markets, stoking ongoing fears that new development is risky.

Another 39% of survey respondents, meanwhile, believe there’s “about the right balance” of senior housing development currently taking place. The remaining 22% believe there’s actually too little new senior housing development occurring.

Respondents also had differing views regarding which phase of the real estate cycle senior housing is currently in. About 50% of survey respondents said they believe the senior housing industry is currently in the “recovery/expansion” phase, the report indicates. About 25% believe the current phase is “peak.”


The report also offers insight as to what various senior housing companies intend to do with their real estate holdings this year.

Approximately half of survey respondents, for instance, said their company plans to “hold” its senior housing assets in 2017, while just under 41% said their company plans to buy senior housing assets. Only 10% said their company intends to sell senior housing assets this year.

Other topics covered include which segments of the senior living continuum are hot, and where occupancy pressures are most likely to be felt in the next six months.

Download the free Q1 2017 Quarterly Senior Housing Sentiment Report here.

Written by Mary Kate Nelson

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