A growing pipeline of senior housing construction projects has buoyed growth for the healthcare real estate investment trusts on Modern Healthcare's annual list of the largest healthcare REITs, experts say.
Construction of senior housing expanded in the mid-1990s, fell off for many years, then picked up again over the past two years, said Calvin Schnure, senior vice president of research and economic analysis at the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts.
Senior housing is being built in anticipation of baby boomers' interest in moving into communities offering a continuum of housing and assisted-living options that meet their needs as they age, Schnure said. There is a strong market shift toward seniors who have saved a nest egg and are eyeing senior living communities as a lifestyle choice rather than based on immediate medical or nursing needs, he said. “This is supplanting people moving in with their children,” he said.