Prior to the pandemic, senior living was well-positioned with a drastic uptick in developments and its highest transaction volume in years. Unfortunately, upon the onset of COVID-19 in March 2020, the sector faced a devastating decrease in occupancy rates and halted/paused nearly all projects. During the health crisis, residents decamped from facilities in fear of the virus and communities racked-up costs due to the need to invest in protective personal equipment and make other similar investments.
Stabilized occupancy rates closed Q4 2020 at 82.9% in primary markets and 83.2% in secondary markets as unprecedented lows, according to the fourth annual Seniors Housing Investor Survey and Outlook from the JLL Valuation Advisory. During 2020, volume fell 48% year-over-year to $9.2 billion. Many wondered if seniors would ever feel comfortable living in a residential community again.