SNF Occupancy Sees Slight Uptick

April 7, 2016, Emily Mongan, McKnights - The occupancy rate for skilled nursing facilities increased 0.1 percentage point to reach 87.4% during the first quarter of 2016, according to new data from the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care.

Nursing facilities also saw a 0.1% increase in inventory growth during the first quarter of 2016, while annual absorption decreased 0.9%. Private pay rents for the nursing care sector increased 2.8% year over year in the first quarter, but were down 0.2 percentage points from the fourth quarter of 2015.

“Inventory growth continues to pressure occupancy rates,” said Beth Burnham Mace, chief economist for NIC, in a press release. “It's notable, however, that the first quarter of 2016 data on starts showed a marked slowdown in activity for the second consecutive quarter. The decline in starts may suggest that the market is responding to well-publicized concerns about supply.”

The nursing care sector also had a 0.7% increase in construction vs. inventory for the first quarter of 2016, down from 0.8% in the fourth quarter of 2015, NIC found.

Seniors housing properties as a whole had an average occupancy rate of 90%, down 0.1 percentage point from the last quarter. Overall occupancy rate has been consistently hovering near 90% for the past two years, and was unchanged this quarter from the first quarter of 2015.