ASHA 50 Shows Shuffling of Largest Owners, Operators as Companies Adopt a Variety of Strategies

by Jeff Shaw

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA), in partnership with Seniors Housing Business, has released the 2021 edition of the ASHA 50, which ranks the 50 largest owners and operators in the U.S. seniors housing space.

Based in Washington, D.C., ASHA is a trade association that advocates for and represents companies that develop, own, operate and finance seniors housing. The ASHA 50 rankings are based on self-reported portfolio sizes, ranked by total number of units, as of June 1, 2021. Data was also used from other reliable sources, such as public filings.

The three top owners in the industry — Welltower, Ventas and Brookdale Senior Living, respectively — all held their places with very little change in their portfolio sizes from the 2020 list. However, Welltower and Ventas are further cementing their positions as the top REITs in the space by making several major acquisitions in the second half of 2021.

Ventas just closed on its acquisition of New Senior Investment Group, which was the ninth-largest owner on this list with 103 properties and 12,404 units. Welltower will soon close on its acquisition of 86 Holiday Retirement-operated properties as part of Holiday’s acquisition by Atria Senior Living.

Other owners are fleeing the industry altogether. Healthpeak Properties, which was fourth-largest owner on the 2020 list, no longer ranks in the top 50 after implementing a plan to sell off all its seniors housing except a handful of continuing care retirement communities. DigitalBridge, formerly known as Colony Capital and ranked sixth on the 2021 list, recently announced it will sell off its entire 300-property healthcare portfolio for $3.2 billion.

On the operator side, there were far fewer changes. Brookdale remains firmly at the top of the pack, with its 57,596 units more than doubling second-place LCS’ total. However, Brookdale did shed 46 communities and 4,966 units from its portfolio between the 2020 list and the 2021 list.

To view the full ASHA 50 supplement, click here.

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