The real estate industry is in a virtual free fall. Even as rental rates drop, vacancy rates are soaring in many locations. When the market hits bottom, the value of commercial real estate may settle at depression levels, according to some independent reports.
This is a major reason assisted facility housing may be faring better in general than commercial real estate. With a social-service culture and, often, a charitable foundation to rely on, these institutions have been better able to withstand the downturn than some solely private real estate projects. Still, there's no doubt that the movement of people into assisted facility housing communities has slowly decreased during the recession and that the overall growth of the industry has noticeably diminished. The construction of new senior housing units has been slowed from an already stagnant rate of development in past years. Many communities face funding deficits in the next year or so as earlier debts are now becoming due.
As the economy begins to recover, the ever-present demand for senior housing will most likely return. Fueled by the ever-increasing aging populations, a new generation of seniors and their loved ones will be considering senior housing as their next step. As a general rule, the financial stability of a community should always be at the top of the list of questions that need to be asked.
Beyond finances, people should look for indications that a particular community has adjusted to shifting economic and housing dynamics. Communities have had to conceive of new business ventures, and many are looking to their local markets to offer home-based services. Communities with more flexible and adjustable business models will most likely emerge stronger in the long term.
There is an extensive list of programs that help locate and evaluate senior housing opportunities. The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging is composed of hundreds of government-supported programs that help consumers in their communities.
Assisted living marketing services are provided by a leading referral
system in the assisted living industry. For more information, call 1-800-768-8221.

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