Senior Housing Proves Resilient Despite Omicron, with Stabilized Occupancy Unchanged in February 2022

March 10, 2022

Despite the headwinds created by the Omicron surge and the consequential staffing crisis, senior housing stabilized occupancy for the NIC MAP® Primary Markets held its ground in February 2022. This was also the case in September 2021 when occupancy withstood the Delta surge and was unchanged from August 2021.

Although the Omicron wave has slowed the occupancy recovery for the NIC MAP Primary Markets, a recovery nonetheless remains in place as evidenced by the patterns of the past 12 months. In fact, there has been no notable occupancy deterioration since February 2021 despite the Delta and Omicron surges. This is mainly due to the reduced level of severe illness and fatalities – thanks to the vaccines, infection control programs, and pandemic preparedness among experienced and agile operators. Further, a strong and consistent increase in demand, as seen by positive net absorption, still offers a positive outlook for 2022.

According to February 2022 Intra-Quarterly NIC MAP® data, released by NIC MAP Vision, the stabilized occupancy rate for senior housing for the NIC MAP Primary Markets stood at 82.3% and was unchanged from the January 2022 reporting period on a three-month rolling basis. And from its time series low of 80.4% in June 2021, stabilized occupancy increased by 1.9pps but remained 7.2pps below pre-pandemic March 2020 levels of 89.5%.

The inventory of senior housing properties for the NIC MAP Primary Markets increased by 2.4%, equivalent to about 15,700 units from year-earlier levels in the February 2022 reporting period. This was the second smallest year-over-year inventory gain since March 2020.

Omicron paused the occupancy recovery in 12 of the 31 NIC MAP Primary Markets. However, stabilized occupancy increased or remained stable in 19 of the 31 Primary Markets for senior housing in the February 2022 reporting period compared with January 2022. Sacramento saw the largest improvement in February 2022, up 0.5pps to 82.1%. This placed occupancy just above year-earlier levels, but 9.5pps below pre-pandemic levels. Las Vegas stabilized occupancy fell 0.5pps from the January 2022 reporting period to 78.3% and is now 9.2pps below the pre-pandemic March 2020 level. The 0.5pps decline in February 2022 was the largest across the 31 NIC MAP Primary Markets.

Data highlights, including stabilized occupancy for majority independent living and majority assisted living properties, inventory growth patterns, and select NIC MAP Primary markets’ performance along with analysis and insights from the NIC Analytics team, including myself and NIC Chief Economist, Beth Mace are provided in the complimentary NIC Intra-Quarterly Snapshot monthly publication, available for download on our website. The data underlying every Intra-Quarterly Snapshot report is available to NIC MAP Vision clients.

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Interested in learning more about NIC MAP Intra-Quarterly data? To learn more about NIC MAP data, powered by NIC MAP Vision, schedule a meeting with a product expert today.

This blog was originally published on NIC Notes.

About NIC
The National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC), a 501(c)(3) organization, works to enable access and choice by providing data, analytics, and connections that bring together investors and providers. The organization delivers the most trusted, objective, and timely insights and implications derived from its analytics, which benefit from NIC’s affiliation with NIC MAP Vision, the leading provider of comprehensive market data for senior housing and skilled nursing properties. NIC events, which include the industry’s premiere conferences, provide sector stakeholders with opportunities to convene, network, and drive thought-leadership through high-quality educational programming. To see all that NIC offers, visit

NIC MAP Vision gives operators, lenders, investors, developers, and owners unparalleled market data for the seniors housing and care sector.

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