For years, NIC MAP has been presenting quarterly changes in seniors housing asking rates, but it is now trying to get beyond that and get the actual rental rates. That will add a lot more needed transparency.

As many of you know, NIC is working hard to develop its database of actual rents in seniors housing as opposed to the “asking” rents that have been used in their NIC Map numbers for years. This is very important because not until the market sees the actual rents communities are getting will we have a better understanding of the extent of price discounting in various markets. 

We have been a little vocal about the asking rent number because when times are tough, like they have been for many providers the past several years, what you want to get in rent can be meaningless if you are always giving something up, whether it is a free month’s rent, a discount for the full year or fixing the price for the first two years. 

If we are at a bottom for occupancy, and I hope we are, then what better way to confirm that the market is strengthening than to see if the actual rents providers are getting are increasing as census grows. If not, then we will know that they are sacrificing rate for occupancy, which is not always a bad thing.

So, please help NIC out when they ask for your real numbers. Actual rates are transparent, asking rates are not, and investors want transparency.