Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD) topped the list of the largest senior living providers in the nation this year, followed by Holiday Retirement, Life Care Services, Five Star Senior Living (Nasdaq: FVE) and Sunrise Senior Living, according to data compiled annually by industry association Argentum. The top five providers by number of units remained unchanged from 2017, although the list itself expanded from 115 to 125 providers with an increase in overall unit count for the largest 115 providers rising 4.5% year over year.
Among the top five providers, Five Star fell from the No. 3 ranking to No. 4, and LCS rose from No. 4 to No. 3. While Brookdale maintained its position in the top spot, its unit count declined from 97,029 to 90,526 from 2017 to 2018, following a series of divestitures under the leadership of new CEO Lucinda Baier, who was named to the position in early 2018.
Investment among the “Big 3” REIT owners of senior housing also remained steady, with Welltower (NYSE: WELL), Ventas (NYSE: VTR) and HCP (NYSE: HCP) maintaining the positions as Nos. 1, 2 and 3, respectively. Welltower currently holds a $17.1 billion investment in the space, followed by Ventas, which holds $16.2 billion in ownership.
While the top senior housing rankings remained largely unchanged year-over-year, Argentum noted the addition of several providers to the overall list and the expansion of the list from 115 providers in 2017 to 125 providers this year. Among the additions were Generations, Charter Senior Living and Arrow Senior Living, with 1,573; 921 units; and 1,656 units, respectively.
Additionally, a 4.5% year-over-year unit count increase for the top 115 properties netted a total unit count of 586,662 this year.
“We continue to expand upon our annual largest providers list each year as part of our goal to provide a holistic view of professionally managed communities in the industry,” says Argentum President and CEO James Balda. “As we see more capital investments, we see more operators emerging as key players across the industry, in all areas of care and service.”
Several individual providers saw substantial growth noted by Argentum in its coverage of the data release, including a 43% increase for The Arbor Company, a 61% increase for Silverado and a 59% growth figure for Integral Senior Living, which launched its new brand Solstice Senior Living in late 2017.
Argentum compiled CCRC rankings for the second year in 2018, this year basing its rankings on property count rather than unit count—the measure used in 2017. LCS took the top position as the largest CCRC provider with 70 properties, followed by Brookdale, Five Star, Erickson Living and American Senior Communities comprising the top five. Unit counts were not reported in 2018, however, Erickson Living last year held the top ranking for number of CCRC units across its 19-property portfolio.
For the first time, Argentum added a ranking this year of not-for-profit operators by unit count. Topping the list was National Senior Campuses with 23,184 units, followed by The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society with 8,134 units; ACTS Retirement Services with 7,377 units; Presbyterian Homes & Services with 6,563 units; and Covenant Retirement Communities with 5,022 units. Other providers would “likely” make the list, but did not report data to Argentum for consideration this year, the association noted.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker