Assisted living (AL) occupancy levels in some regions have been on a bit of a rollercoaster lately, tossed between overbuilding and underutilization. AL occupancy rates are expected to level out and settle into the 88-percent range through the end of 2017, but another spike is in AL’s future, according to the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care (NIC), Annapolis, Md.
That spike would come in 2026, experts predict, as the majority of the baby boomers reach their 80s, the peak time for senior living facility move-ins. The balance between assisted living availability and absorption rates might be a bit out of whack until then in some metropolitan areas. NIC projects that building trends to create more units than are needed for the next few years, but could be the start to meeting the needs in the next decade.
“The demographics are moving in favor of this sector, but I would say gradually,” Beth Burnham Mace, chief economist at NIC, told National Real Estate Investor. “The big push is still a number of years away. Everyone is waiting for the baby boomers.”