An overview of the recent National Investment Center for Senior Housing meeting.

By Steve Moran

I spent the vast majority of my time at the NIC meeting with operators and developers, asking what they are doing to innovate, to grow their companies . . . how they are improving lives for seniors. I also used that time to take their pulse on the industry. Over the next several weeks, we will be publishing those interviews as articles and podcasts. In the meantime, here are some broad themes:


  • There is an acknowledgement that we are in a hyper-development period, with a note that hyper is a relative term. There is a general belief that we will see some struggling projects in select markets . . . though never those of the developer I was talking to (actually one developer/operator did acknowledge that if they do a bunch of projects, it is inevitable that at least one will be a challenge).

  • Many are concerned that labor costs and availability will become increasingly problematic.

  • Most expect an increase in interest rates and, interestingly, feel an increase is overdue and would be healthy for the industry. The thinking is that it would rein-in the galloping, head spinning increase in price per door.

  • There seems to be renewed interest in the development of independent living communities. The idea is that they will attract a younger more active group of seniors and allow them to better control costs as their physical needs increase.

  • Three years ago if you had been at NIC all you would have heard is memory care, memory care, and more memory care. There was a community belief that it was impossible to build too many memory care units (and yes, even back then, there were one or two individuals who urged caution). Today there is a general acknowledgement that the memory care market is not limitless and that in some markets there are already too many units.

  • To the extent there is worry about overbuilding, most feel, it will only be a temporary problem. The way the thinking goes is, that because at some point in the future Boomers will likely/hopefully consume massive amounts of senior living, the market will take care of the problem.

  • There seems to be some sense that maybe there is gold in the smaller tertiary markets.

  • While everyone seems to agree there is a real need for affordable senior living and that something ought to be done about it no one seems to have a very good solution.

A number of these ideas will be fleshed out in the coming weeks including an article that takes at look at the idea that maybe senior living properties should be selling for more money per door, than we are currently seeing.

If you were there, did I miss anything or get something wrong?