COLUMBUS, Ohio — A clear majority of seniors housing executives plan to start new construction projects in 2016, although they are slightly less ambitious than they were a year ago, according to an online survey of 295 executives by Columbus-based lender Lancaster Pollard.
Respondents to the survey included owners, operators, developers and investors.
The survey found that 70 percent of respondents are either “somewhat likely” or “extremely likely” to start a new seniors housing project this year. This is a drop-off from last year, when 80 percent indicated they expected to undertake new construction.
“Overall, our survey findings depict an environment similar to [last year],” the report states. ”New construction and renovation projects are increasingly being pursued, particularly in regard to assisted living and memory care.”
The majority of respondents — 61 percent — believe that memory care will be the fastest growing subsector of seniors housing this year. Skilled nursing facilities and continuing care retirement communities are least likely to lead the way in growth, according to the findings.
Survey respondents also suggest that the current seller’s market is starting to take a toll on owners’ approach to mergers and acquisitions. Some 65 percent indicate they are extremely or somewhat likely to pursue a divestment, while only 53 percent said they will pursue an acquisition.
Respondents are generally split on the outlook for occupancy rates in 2016. Nearly half (49 percent) expect occupancy to stay flat, while 47 percent expect to see an increase in occupancy. Only four percent expect occupancy to fall in 2016.