The economic downturn that created a slump in the nation’s housing market has had a negative impact on seniors housing facilities over the past year, according to 75% of respondents to an exclusive online survey conducted jointly by National Real Estate Investor and Senior Housing Investment Advisors. Still, three-fourths of respondents who own or manage seniors housing facilities expect occupancy levels at their properties to rise by an average of 161 basis points over the next several months.

The health of the capital markets will be a critical factor in stimulating seniors housing transactions. About half of the survey respondents (49%) say they are considering local and regional banks as a debt-financing source for acquisitions and new construction. The decline in real estate fundamentals across the seniors housing industry because of the economy, along with a wave of maturing debt, has forced lenders to substantially raise their equity requirements.

For the full report on NREI’s 2010 Seniors Housing Study, please click here.