Friday, November 10, 2006

Seniors Are Choosing To Retire In Hi-End Suites

Ottawa Seniors are choosing to retire in larger Hi-End, more expensive private suites.

Suites are increasing in popularity and now represent 19.7 % of accommodation spaces compared to just 10 % in 2001. This points to changing demand among more affluent seniors who have shown a preference for larger and more expensive units found in newer and renovated residences.

While the overall vacancy rate for retirement accommodation continued to edge lower in 2006, only suites recorded a lower vacancy rate, inching down to 7.4 % from 7.5 % a year earlier. Vacancy rates increased for ward, semi-private and private categories.

Couples represented 10.1 % of the more than 35,000 residents who reside in a retirement home, up from 8.8 per cent in 2005. Although too early to confirm, the trend to more and larger suites may have lifted the occupancy rate of couples.

Additional highlights from the survey include:
  • The largest increase in the vacancy rate was noted for ward units, where demand softened by 3.5 % points to 28.6 %.
  • Average per diems have kept pace with the inflation rate. The average per diem rate for private units increased 2.9 % to $77 and suites recorded the largest increase, rising by 3.1 % to $111.
  • This reflects higher demand and the impact of higher-priced units in new residences. The average per diem rate for semi-private units was unchanged at $52 as vacancies increased in this form of share accommodation to 23.3 %.
  • Suites and private rooms accounted for 97 % of the new supply.
  • More than four of every ten new accommodation spaces were suites, double the current market share.


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