Members of the American Seniors Housing Association and subscribers to The SeniorCare Investor gathered in New York City on the night of the Rockefeller Center tree lighting in an intimate setting at The Penn Club to hear what Rick Atlas (Atria Senior Living), David Reis (Senior Care Development) and Scott Stewart (Capitol Senior Housing) had to say about investing in seniors housing today.
While all three were very bullish on the future of the seniors housing business and long-term investment values, there were certainly differences of opinion as to where they see strength. For example, David Reis stated that not only is the CCRC model alive and well, but several of his CCRCs are experiencing occupancy levels above 95% at a time when many other providers are suffering from census issues. He also pointed out that if the new tax law includes changes to the ability of not-for-profits to access tax-exempt bond financing, it will benefit the for-profit providers as they will then be on a more equal footing in accessing the capital markets.
Scott Stewart explained how after years of buying assisted living communities, and then developing them when acquisition prices got too high, Capitol Senior Housing is now building active adult communities targeting the 70- to 72-year old market. Averaging about 150 units each, they have three communities open with several developments in the pipeline. These communities are filling the gap seen by post-retirement elders who are not ready for full-service independent living communities, but want to downsize out of their homes, and with a lower price point than full-service retirement communities.
Rick Atlas stressed how important location is and why Atria prefers to be in high-barrier-to-entry markets. In these wealthier communities, they are able to pay a higher wage and there is less rate sensitivity with their customers. He also stressed that they are not interested in the stand-alone memory care model.
It was a very successful evening with many questions from the audience that sent the panel into overtime. Subscribers will have access to the full video recording of the panel discussion in a few days.