Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD) is holding steady with regard to occupancy ahead of a potential census and resident rate growth “supercycle” in 2023.
The nation’s largest senior housing provider recently reported an occupancy rate of 78.1% as of the end of November, representing a slight dip in occupancy since the end of September, when it registered at 78.4%. The latest result is still significantly higher than in the fourth quarter of 2021, when Brookdale’s occupancy was 73.5%.
For Brentwood, Tennessee-based Brookdale, the trend is not an aberration, as the fourth quarter is usually flat for census growth, company executives have said. Still, leaders with the company said on a recent earnings call the operator could still notch an occupancy gain of 50 basis points in 4Q compared to the third quarter.
Brookdale CEO Cindy Baier also noted that she believes the company is “in the early stages of what we expect to be a long and prosperous tailwind,” a trend that CFO Steve Swain has dubbed a “supercycle.”
“We have strong occupancy momentum and our 2023 pricing will incorporate inflationary impacts,” Baier said during the company’s 3Q22 earnings call in November.
In terms of weighted average occupancy, the company registered at 77% in November. Overall, the company has reported 13 consecutive months of year-over-year weighted average occupancy growth, executives noted.
Since the start of its pandemic recovery in March 2021, Brookdale reported occupancy growth of 760 basis points.
In July, average senior housing occupancy grew 90 basis points to 81.4%, and reached 82.2% in the third quarter of this year, marking the fifth straight quarter of growth as year-over-year rental rates increased at the highest rate in NIC history.