Fastest Senior Living Lease-Ups Occur in Assisted Living and Memory Care

Assisted living and memory care units generally fill up faster than their independent living counterparts, according to newly shared data from the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC).

The analysis, detailed in a June 6 NIC blog post, is based on a roughly 12-year time series of primary- and secondary-market leasing patterns collected by the NIC MAP Data Service.

“Broadly, data on range of lease-ups by community type and national trend data for seniors housing and care properties can be used in setting proforma occupancy in new development, studies to support financing, and benchmarking occupancy for non-stabilized communities as they fill up,” Lana Peck, Anne Standish and Beth Burnham Mace wrote in a blog post on the data.


According to the latest analysis, assisted living and memory care units had the highest median occupancy rates of 89% eight quarters after opening. In 16 quarters, median occupancy for assisted living and memory care communities grew to 95% and 94%, respectively.

The lowest quartile of assisted living communities logged a 75% median occupancy or less in the first eight quarters after opening, and the highest quartile had above 93% occupancy. For memory care communities, the lowest quartile saw 74% occupancy or less in the first eight quarters after opening, while the highest quartile had 100% occupancy.

Independent living communities, meanwhile, saw a median occupancy of 84% for the same eight-quarter period after opening, and 93% in 16 quarters after opening. The lowest-performing quartile of these communities saw less than 66% occupancy during that period, while the highest-performing quartile had above 97% occupancy.


Lease-up rates are influenced by a wide variety of variables, including depth of target market demographics, supply penetration, a property’s age and size, local competition, condition of the local residential real estate market, consumer familiarity and acceptance, levels of presales before opening, and operator quality.

Median occupancy rates are typically higher than the average senior living occupancy rates, according to NIC. Senior housing occupancy averaged 88.3% for the first quarter of 2018, with average assisted living occupancy falling to a new low of 85.7%.

Written by Tim Regan

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