NIC Classifies Active Adult Communities in Landmark Announcement

Active adult communities have long been uncategorized, making it challenging for operators, providers, and residents to plan ahead. In recent years, we’ve seen the active adult living sector grow at a pace no one could’ve predicted, a trend that was only amplified by the pandemic. But with this rise in popularity brought many questions - including, how do we define active adult living? As of earlier this month, we finally have an answer, thanks to the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care (NIC). 
According to a report released by the NIC on September 7th, active adult communities will be defined by the following parameters: 
  • Unit count
  • Amenities 
  • Locations
  • Pricing trends 
  • Age-restricted
  • Market-rate pricing
  • Multi-family housing properties that are lifestyle-focused 
  • Typically do not provide meals 
This is the first time since the 1990s that the NIC has added a new senior living product type to their report, marking a major shift in the sector that is expected to continue. 

Interest, Investors Drive Growth

The NIC pointed to several main drivers impacting the market, including growing interest from investors and developers in the senior living space, as well as potential residents. Furthermore, the impact of the pandemic continues to linger, with many older adults looking for less isolating options than traditional housing models. As we continue to adapt to life in the post-pandemic world, it’s clear the senior housing industry has changed. Physical, mental, and emotional well-being have all become top priorities for many seniors, something that wasn’t as much the case prior to 2020. 

Active Adult Communities By The Numbers 

The NIC report was eye-opening for many reasons, but it was particularly enlightening to gain more insight into the scale of the active adult market as it stands today. Following the announcement the NIC now recognizes active adult communities as their own entity, they released the data on the current state of the market:
  • There are currently 33,000 active adult units in the U.S.
  • These units are housed within 234 communities.
  • There are 84 markets in 34 states, with the highest concentration in:
    • Dallas, Texas
    • Denver, Colorado
    • Las Vegas, Nevada
    • Los Angeles, California
    • Seattle, Washington
    • Buffalo, New York
  • The typical active adult community has around 140 to 180 units
  • Most dwelling sizes range from 650 to more than 2,200 sq ft. 
  • Most often found in suburban locations 
  • Rents are lower than multi-family properties and independent living communities 
  • Less full-time staff
  • More limited liability
  • More contracted services
  • Shorter sales timeframe 

Book a Meeting with Sherman & Roylance 

Will you be attending the NIC’s Fall Conference later this week? Remember to schedule a meeting with Shep, George, Or Jack to discuss future investment opportunities in senior living. We look forward to connecting with you and many other senior housing experts over the duration of the conference.