Nursing care properties bound by consistency

Recently released data from NIC MAP shows a continuation of existing trends in nursing care properties, as occupancy continues to marginally decline and rent growth remains stable.

In 4Q11, nursing care occupancy was 88.2 percent, a decline of 0.1 percent from the prior quarter and a 0.2 percent decline from one year ago. Absorption continued to post modest declines, with the number of occupied beds decreasing by 0.3 percent during 4Q11.

Along with the negative absorption, the number of operational beds also declined by 0.1 percent, resulting in a marginal decline in occupancy. The phenomenon of net declining inventory is the result of both the closing of properties as well as a shift from semi-private to private rooms. While properties that are renovating semi-private rooms into private rooms are not necessarily decreasing their number of licensed beds, with the conversion to private rooms, the operational bed supply of those properties does typically decline.

Private-pay rents continued to increase on average at an annual pace of approximately 3.4 percent—a pace around which rent growth has oscillated for more than two years. The average per diem private-pay rate was $269 as of 4Q11.

Private-pay residents, however, are a minority among nursing care residents, making up less than 20 percent of nursing care residents. The largest payor source continues to be Medicaid, which was the payment source for 63.4 percent of nursing care residents during 4Q11.

Graph courtesy of NIC MAP Data & Analysis Service

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