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Senior Housing Construction Development Falls to Near Historical Lows

Updated: 3 days ago

NIC Map Vision report shows senior living development shortage against backdrop of “unprecedented” demand growth—550,000-unit shortfall by 2030 and $1 trillion investment shortage by 2040 expected.

According to new data from leading senior housing analytics firm NIC MAP Vision, the United States will be facing a $275 billion investment gap in senior living development by 2030. This shortfall suggests that there won't be enough housing to meet the growing demand of older adults in the next five years.

The organization’s Senior Housing Outlook report uncovers a shortage of senior living development exists against the backdrop of “unprecedented” demand growth, emphasizing the need for immediate action as well as opportunities for investors. With the current pace of senior living development pace, a 550,000-unit shortfall is expected by 2030, with a $275 billion investment shortage that will grow to $1 trillion by 2040.

The report states that senior living starts have plummeted to just 0.2% of existing inventory. With only 26,000 senior living units being developed annually — compared with the highest rate of 56,000 units in the 21st century — the industry will only produce half of the required inventory by 2025., the lowest level in recent history.To meet the projected need over the next six years, development must accelerate to more than three-and-a-half times the current pace.

The situation presents unique and unprecedented investment opportunities. NIC MAP Vision CEO Arick Morton said in a statement: “There’s a significant generational opportunity for investors in senior housing development and acquisition. As the demand for senior housing grows, investing in this sector will result in substantial returns and long-term growth.”

“The senior housing industry has battled through a trifecta of crises. As we move past the challenges of the pandemic, labor shortages and high interest rates affecting capital markets, the senior housing market presents a prime investment opportunity,” Morton said. “We see the longer view. The demand is high and the current supply insufficient, making it an ideal time for investment in this sector.”

Public market valuations of senior living-related equities now exceed pre-pandemic levels, showing investor confidence in the senior living sector, according to the report.

Addressing the growing needs of the aging population requires a multifaceted approach involving both public and private sectors.

Key initiatives could include:

Public Sector Initiatives:

  • Policy and Funding: Governments can develop policies that incentivize the development of senior living facilities, such as tax breaks, subsidies, or low-interest loans for developers.

  • Zoning and Land Use: Streamlining zoning regulations and land-use planning to facilitate the construction of senior housing.

  • Healthcare Integration: Promoting the integration of healthcare services within senior living communities to ensure residents have easy access to medical care.

Private Sector Initiatives:

  1. Investment in Innovation: Private developers can invest in innovative housing models that cater to the diverse needs of seniors, including assisted living, independent living, and memory care.

  2. Public-Private Partnerships: Collaborating with governments to leverage public funding and resources, ensuring projects are financially viable and meet regulatory standards.

  3. Sustainability and Accessibility: Building sustainable, energy-efficient, and fully accessible facilities to accommodate the physical needs of seniors.

By combining efforts across these sectors, it's possible to create a more robust and responsive system that can effectively meet the growing demands of the aging population. Without such coordination, it is likely that there will be significant shortfalls in the availability and quality of senior living options.

Download the NIC Map Vision Senior Housing Market Outlook Report Here.


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