2021 4th Quarter in Review

By: Ron Orlando

Recent indicators show that the Senior Living Industry continues to face significant challenges from the current pandemic activity and continues to be impacted by a shortage of staffing resources.

Takeaway #1: Senior housing occupancy is up 2.3 percentage points from pandemic low

Takeaway #2: Record high demand occurred in second half of 2021

Takeaway #4: Occupancy distribution varies by market

Key Takeaway #5:  New construction loan volume picking up again


Senior Living Occupancy jumped one full percentage point to 81.0% in the fourth quarter due to favorable supply and demand conditions. From its low point of 78.7% in the first and second quarters of 2021, it is up 2.3 percentage points.  However, it remains 6.4 percentage points below its pre-pandemic level of 87.4%.

For senior housing, inventory growth continued to slow to only 2,910 units in the fourth quarter.  This was the fewest number of units added to inventory since the first quarter of 2019.  For further perspective, its pre-pandemic 10-year quarterly average was 3,333 units per quarter.

Inventory growth has generally trended down from its high point of 6,100 units in mid-2019. It’s likely to continue to do so due in the near term to a slowdown in starts in 2020 and early 2021.