Occupancy at life plan communities is continuing to outpace non-life plan communities as senior living operators work to grow occupancy back to pre-covid levels in 2023.
According to a new report from Ziegler using NIC MAP Vision data, occupancy at life plan communities registered at 87.2% in the fourth quarter of 2022, a marked increase over the 80.9% occupancy rate for all non-life plan communities in 4Q22.
The NIC MAP Vision dataset included 1,160 not-for-profit and for-profit entrance fee and rental life plan communities in 140 metro markets across the U.S.
The latest report echoes a similar report from 2022 which showed life plan community occupancy beating average senior living occupancy for the rest of the industry.
“Overall, the occupancy rate for not-for-profit LPCs continued to outpace that of for-profit LPCs across all care segments,” wrote the report’s author, NIC Principal Omar Zahraoui.
Despite the sector’s continued higher occupancy, census at life plan communities remains more than 4 percentage points below its pre-pandemic level of 91.5%. And that is despite regaining 3.1 points from its pandemic-era low.
Entrance-fee life plan communities saw Q4 occupancy 5.4 percentage points higher than rental life plan communities, at 89.2% and 83.8%, respectively.
The NIC MAP data also showed that, in general, for-profit senior living communities saw occupancy in the fourth quarter of 2022 of 88.2%, a 3.9 percentage point gain over the 84.3% rate that senior living nonprofits logged in that time..
While demand remains strong for life plan communities, other recent reports have suggested a potentially tough time for the sector in the remainder of the year. Late last year, Fitch Ratings noted the sector had a “deteriorating” outlook as labor costs and general market uncertainty continue into 2023.