Independent Living Move-In Rates Drop in Q4 of 2017

Average initial move-in rates for both independent living and assisted living properties were below average asking rates for the fourth quarter of 2017, according to data from the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC) released Wednesday.

However, the rate of move-ins in assisted living equaled or surpassed the rate for move-outs in same sector in the last eight months of 2017. In the early months of the year, the move-out rate had exceeded that of move-ins.

“There was no clear monthly pattern for independent living during 2017,” Beth Burnham Mace, the chief economist and director of outreach at NIC. “The decline in occupancy rates from December 2016 reflects a rate of move-outs that exceeded the pace of move-ins for both assisted living and independent living properties on an annual basis.”

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Assisted living initial rates averaged 8.3% below the average asking rate as of December 2017. This equaled an average initial rate discount equal to 1 month on an annualized basis, compared with 1.2 months in December 2016.

For independent living, the discount was 0.9 months, which was up from 0.4 months in December 2016.

The average in-place rate growth for assisted living has been decelerating as of late, Mace wrote, with the average rate in December of last year registering at 0.9% higher than the average rate a year earlier. In 2016, the average rate registered at 3.4% higher. Independent living’s in-place rate growth has seen a similar trend, with year-over-year rate growth of 1.5% in December 2017, compared with 4.3% in 2016.

The growth rates for average assisted living initial move-in rates accelerated to 2.8% in December of last year, the strongest yearly pace since February 2017 and surpassing the 0.9% in-place rate growth. But move-in initial rates for independent living were 6.1% below the levels of 2016.

The data on actual rates and leasing velocity was released from the NIC Map Data Service, which includes national data from about 250,000 units in more than 2,500 properties across the U.S. — operated by 25 to 30 seniors housing providers.

Written by Maggie Flynn

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