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Housing Crunch Slows Demand for Senior Housing Communities

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June 30, 2008

By Jane Adler – National Real Estate Investor

The housing slump has softened occupancy at seniors housing projects, though a few hopeful signs suggest the slide may not deepen much further. Vacancy concerns are most pronounced at new independent living buildings and continuing care retirement communities. “Those segments are the toughest right now,” says David Schless, president of the American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA) based in Washington, D.C.

The slow housing market has delayed the plans of seniors who want to move to an independent-type retirement community but who can’t sell their homes. Assisted living communities and nursing homes are much less affected by the housing slump because a move to those facilities is usually a necessity, not a choice.

The performance of seniors housing portfolios varies widely across the country, says ASHA’s Schless. The most troubled projects are located in overheated housing markets such as Florida and California. Another trouble spot: rust-belt cities, including Cleveland and Detroit. “It really depends on where the properties are located. Some operators are not having trouble,” notes Schless.

Overall, occupancies in independent living buildings slipped only slightly in the first quarter to 92.1% from 92.3% the previous quarter, according to a recent survey of the top 31 markets by the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry (NIC).

ARTICLE SHORTENED DUE TO LENGTH….

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE:

http://nreionline.com/news/housing_crunch_slows_demand_independent_living_0630/
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