Welltower‘s seniors housing partners continue to suffer from census declines and operating costs.

We do appreciate the transparency that Welltower has been providing investors, but boy does it provide a window onto what is happening.

In its monthly update, Welltower informed us that it suffered its worst monthly census decline since May. December’s SHOP occupancy fell 100 basis points from November, compared with -70 basis points in November and -170 basis points in May. With the pandemic spreading, census dropped another 85 basis points to just 75.3% as of January 15. Not looking forward to everyone’s fourth quarter earnings calls.

Move-ins were the lowest in six months, and move-outs are still trending near their high since May. Unfortunately, trailing two-week COVID cases in their communities were the highest since the coronavirus outbreak. This makes sense given what has been happening nationally. It doesn’t make me feel any better, however. Meanwhile, operating expenses remain high and the SHOP portfolio operating margins are in the low 20% range, excluding any provider relief funds. For those assets, that is low.

At least they are still collecting 97% of their triple net lease rents. Some good news indeed.

Happy Inauguration Day.