The increase also represents the 11th consecutive quarter of growth, the report said.
Darren Lehrich, an analyst at Deutsche Bank, said in a note to clients that the senior housing sector last week outperformed the S&P 500 (2.5% vs. 1.1%).
He added that the publicly traded senior living industry has gotten a boost from positive housing data—which have shown increases in new home prices and new home sales and which generally serve as a good indicator for senior housing trends.
The housing recovery has lifted shares of major players in the senior-care space.
At the closing bell Tuesday, Brookdale Senior Living, Brentwood, Tenn., had edged up nearly 12% since Jan. 2; Emeritus Corp., Seattle, 9%; and Capital Senior Living, Dallas, 11.4%.
At National Healthcare Corp., Murfreesboro, Tenn., occupancy rates have declined from a high of 92% to a still-healthy 90%-91% because of Medicaid reductions, spokesman Gerald Coggin said.
Speaking at a newly renovated facility in Franklin, Tenn., Coggin noted that the company continues to build assisted-living centers and has seen a move toward smaller facilities that offer more services, including short-term rehabilitation and memory-care programs.
The National Investment Center report also found that annual asking rent increased 2.2%, the same increase as the previous quarter, but still outperformed core inflation. Meanwhile, inventory grew only 1.2%, representing a slowdown compared to last quarter and fourth quarter of last year, when inventory increased 1.3%. Construction has also slowed in the industry, according to the report.