Hospitality, Travel, Senior Living & Multifamily News April 2022
Up, Up, and Away ✈️
Monthly U.S. Travel Agency Sales Reach Highest Total Since February 2020
February Sales Eclipse $5 Billion, Growing 48% Month over Month
Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC) today released data showing ARC-accredited travel agency air ticket sales totaling $5.4 billion in February 2022, a 253% year-over-year increase from February 2021.* The net sales total marks the highest level since February 2020, a month before the COVID-19 pandemic began to impact travel. The previous pandemic high for sales was $4.4 billion in November 2021.
- Month over month, February 2022 results showed:
- Total sales up 48%.
- Total passenger trips increased 21%.
- U.S. domestic trips up 17%.
- International trips up 28%.
“Leisure demand nearing pre-pandemic levels and accelerated corporate travel bookings fueled another strong month of sales,” said Steve Solomon, vice president of global sales, marketing, operations and customer experience at ARC. “With the U.S. domestic travel market steadily rising, we are monitoring the war in Europe and its impact on the strong international travel growth to start the year.”
Total passenger trips settled by ARC in February 2022 increased 114% year over year from 9.3 million to 19.8 million, aided by a 158% increase in international trips. U.S. domestic trips were up 96% year over year to 12.9 million.
The average U.S. round-trip ticket price in February 2022 was $464, a 34% increase from $346 in February 2021. The 2022 total was down 5% from the pre-pandemic February monthly average of $488.
February 2022 EMD sales increased 202% year over year to $9,298,339. EMD transactions increased 175% to 177,014 over the same period.**
More detailed information is available on ARC’s sales statistics page. Additional breakdown of corporate, leisure and online ticket sales can be found on the ARC COVID-19 data page.
Senior Housing On Road To Recovery 🧓🏘️
2022 Senior Housing Market Outlook
The year 2021 was supposed to be all about recovery for the healthcare market, especially for the seniors housing and skilled nursing sectors, and in many ways it was: facilities reopened, occupancy rates climbed, and processes were improved. The progress, however, was coupled with continued operating challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the emergence of variants, as well as rising costs due to labor shortages—all of which have had a stalling effect on the industry’s recovery. The outlook is complex and fluid, and to get a sense of where things are headed we take a look at recent market data to shed light on the past 12 months, identify trends, and provide a big picture analysis of what the industry looks like as 2022 unfolds.
Seniors Housing Occupancy Begins the Road to Recovery
Within the seniors housing sector, the occupancy rate reached an inflection point in 2021 and began rising from lows set in 2020. According to the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry (NIC), the occupancy rate within primary and secondary markets rose from 80.8% at the end of 2020 to 81.6% in the fourth quarter of 2021 (Figure 1). Fueling the occupancy rate rise was record absorption (the change in occupied units) of over 24,000 units in 2021. While the occupancy rate is still low and has a way to go to reach pre-pandemic levels, the turnaround in 2021 was welcome news to many industry participants.
The turnaround in occupancy has been corroborated by recent developments from some of the most prominent industry participants. For example, Brookdale Senior Living reported in a December press release that it has seen nine straight months of occupancy gains through November of 2021. Likewise, Welltower filed a business update in November 2021 declaring its senior housing operating portfolio (SHOP) occupancy rose by 80 to 120 basis points (bps) per month during the second half of 2021. Welltower noted many bullish trends facing its portfolio and the seniors housing industry in general, such as rising occupancies, positive move-in trends, fewer expected forward seniors housing construction volume concerns, and the imminent accelerating growth rates of the 80+ population within the U.S. Ventas also reported a bullish case for their SHOP portfolio, as it issued a business update that reported its occupancy rate improved from 71.9% in 1Q21 to an expected 77.8% in 4Q21.
As 2022 progresses, we can expect further occupancy gains for seniors housing operators. The tailwinds noted above are imminent and substantial and should help mitigate continuing challenges posed by emerging COVID variants.
Average Monthly Rent and REVPOR Hold Steady
Average monthly rent (AMR), rent growth, revenue per occupied room (REVPOR), and REVPOR growth all performed well in 2021. NIC MAP data shows that AMR was $4,342 in 4Q21, up from $4,218 in 4Q20. In addition, year-over-year (YoY) rent growth accelerated in 4Q21 compared to 4Q20. Rent growth was 2.4% in 4Q21, a faster growth rate than the 1.7% posted in 4Q20. Corroborating that growth, BKD also reported improving REVPOR statistics, as its 3Q21 REVPOR was $5,222 and up 3.1% YoY.
Conversely, Ventas’s REVPOR was down 1.6% YoY in 3Q21, but it noted in its December business update that it expected enhanced pricing power moving forward.
AMR and REVPOR should continue to improve in 2022 as rising occupancy rates should provide operators with further pricing power.
Occupancy Rises Across Skilled Nursing
The skilled nursing sector also registered occupancy gains in 2021. Data from the American Healthcare Association (AHCA)/National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) shows the average occupancy rate among 14,168 skilled nursing facilities (SNF) in the U.S. was 72.7% as of December 26, 2021. This figure was up from 69.9% one year ago.
Data from industry participants supports the SNF trends reported by AHCA/NCAL. The Ensign Group reported a 3Q21 same facility occupancy rate of 74.4%, up from 71.6% in 3Q20. Omega Healthcare Investors, the largest owner of SNFs in the U.S., reported 3Q21 occupancy of 82.2% compared to 74.2% in 3Q20, and its skilled mix improved from 33.5% to 36.4% during the same period. Sabra Health Care REIT, Inc. reported a 3Q21 occupancy rate of 71.1%, down from 80.0% in 3Q20. Sabra’s SNF occupancy has been
materially impacted by struggles reported as a result of a spike in COVID cases across Oregon, California, and Washington.
As we move into 2022, the skilled nursing sector should see further stabilization despite a continuingly challenging operating environment. In December 2021, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) began releasing Phase 4 of provider relief funds, which should help buoy SNF balance sheets, especially those smaller providers which may be experiencing the greatest operating challenges.
You Can’t Buy Happiness, But You Can Rent It💵
Strong Occupancy Growth Continues To Boost Multifamily
“In January 2021, occupancy rates were 95.0 percent or higher in just 13 of the top 30 markets, but a year later only two of the top 30 are below that level,” the report says.
The report points out that some of the occupancy growth has been the markets that suffered the most during the pandemic, such as New York and San Jose.
However the report cautions on rent growth.
“Rent growth is likely to start decelerating soon relative to the big increases that began in March 2021, but demand shows little sign of slowing,” the report says.
Source: Yardi Matrix