Senior Care Leading Indicators

Senior Care Leading Indicators

There has not been a lot of good news, but given some leading indicators, the next development boom may be a bit further out than we had expected four months ago. Our focus for the past 12 months has been on the coronavirus pandemic and what it has done to seniors housing and care occupancy rates. We are also on record as stating that getting back to pre-pandemic census levels may take up to four years, partly because we expect development to ramp up again when developers eye the post-2025 demographics. But something else has been happening that may keep some builders away. First, the 10-year treasury rate has more than doubled in the past seven months. Yes, 1.36% is still attractive, but... Read More »
Buyers Paid Premium For Strong Operations in 2020

Buyers Paid Premium For Strong Operations in 2020

In 2020, there was yet again a perfect correlation between the average price per unit paid for seniors housing communities and their operating margins. Throughout 2020, as occupancy and cash flow at senior care facilities dropped and costs of financing rose, we wondered exactly how the pandemic would affect the pricing of these assets. Would it have a disparate effect on skilled nursing versus seniors housing properties, older properties versus new ones, or on stabilized facilities versus non stabilized. We are almost done compiling all these statistics in the 26th Edition of The Senior Care Acquisition Report, but we wanted to highlight a historical trend that continued even through... Read More »
Senior Care Leading Indicators

Boosting Your Census Now

Occupancy levels continue to decline, yet demand seems to be increasing as customers are coming back to take a look. There is a disconnect between the seller and the buyer that needs to be fixed now. The public companies are about to start releasing their earnings and census reports, and it may not be pretty. But, it does not have to stay that way. My gut tells me that a lot of sales staff have been blaming the virus on their inability to sell and fill units. Makes sense, right? But what if how they are selling, and communicating, or not communicating with customers, is the real problem?  Do you think management and salespeople have adapted to the new environment, the new mentality of... Read More »
Senior Care Leading Indicators

Long-Term Care Insurance Moratorium?

In a lack of wisdom, North Dakota legislators are considering a bill to ban long-term care insurance policy sales for three years. Just as Medicaid funding is getting stretched and the need for long-term care services will be increasing, North Dakota is apparently considering a bill that would impose a three-year ban on the sale of long-term care insurance policies. Really? The sponsors want to study the market and the history of premium increases. Great, and they have every right to do so, but to ban sales for three years while you “study the market”? Come on, how big is the market in North Dakota? Spend a week. Look, long-term care insurance is not perfect, and there are Cadillac... Read More »
The Vaccine and Census

The Vaccine and Census

The COVID-19 vaccine was supposed to solve the census crisis brought on by the virus, but it is not happening fast enough. Optimism still exists, however. A lot has been riding on the success of the vaccine rollout, for everyone personally as well as for the entire senior care industry. But I am worried. When I hear that certain areas are running out of vaccines, when I hear that it may not be as effective with some of the new strains entering our country, when I hear from some providers that up to 50% of their staff have decided not to get vaccinated, well, what does that say about how and when we will recover from this devastating virus? There is some optimism out there, with one... Read More »
Senior Care Leading Indicators

The Welltower Census Decline

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... Read More »