Signs Pointing Toward Improvement in Senior Housing Market Throughout Country and New Jersey

Cedar Crest Active Retirement Community One Example, Which Shows Sales Increases in Several Key Areas - Including Settlements and Occupancy Rates

POMPTON PLAINS, NJ - As the real estate market looks to rebound throughout the country, parts of the northeast and even here in New Jersey, there appears to be one bright spot that is illuminating positive growth - the senior housing market. As Baby Boomers and seniors search for housing, there is a true boon in rental rates at senior communities throughout the region. According to the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry the year over year rental rate percentage climbed 1.2% from 2011 over 2010 for senior housing, and is currently at 88.2%, which is encouraging.  However, right here in northern New Jersey, at the Cedar Crest active continuing care retirement community in Pompton Plains, the current occupancy rate far exceeds this national average. For example, after the first quarter of last year, the occupancy rate was 93.8%. Now, it is even higher one year later at 95%. There are several factors that contribute to this spike in number, namely, there are more older adults selling their houses in northern New Jersey in an effort to move into senior communities.  Also, they are aided in the selling process with incentive-driven programs offered to them like the ones offered by Cedar Crest. "Cedar Crest provides its clients with many different opportunities that assist them in making a transition from a house to a home," said Ray Guarino, the community's sales director.  "We have several programs that give our customers the competitive edge by helping them sell that house that they have lived in for 30, 40, 50 years and beyond.  One such incentive features our popular Erickson Realty & Moving Services program, which is led by Margaret Semezko, our personal moving consultant.  Margaret visits with clients, offers them advice on how to sell, connects them with preferred realtors who know the market, refers clients to home stagers, downsizers, 'de-clutterers', movers and other moving professionals.  She literally holds the customer's hand throughout the entire process." "Many older adults are finding they no longer own their home, but rather their home owns them," said Margaret Semezko.  "Staging, downsizing and de-cluttering offers seniors a chance to begin anew and position their home in a positive light where they can receive fabulous responses from the real estate market." Another positive statistic for the first quarter of this year points to the fact that from the time that a senior reserves an apartment at Cedar Crest to the time they close on one.  This process is, in most cases, dependent upon when a client sells their existing house. For the first quarter of last year, the time from reservation to close was 135 days. This year, for the same period (1Q of 2012) the time was much lower at 69 days, further illustrating recovery in the senior real estate market. "This is a very exciting time for us," said Cathy Guttman, Cedar Crest's executive director.  "We have not just created homes, but living experiences for seniors so that they can enjoy their freedom years.  Our community is based on providing its residents with financial freedom, an active and engaged lifestyle and a multitude of health and wellness opportunities.  We are encouraged by the rebound in the real estate market, which may offer more and more seniors with plenty of positive housing options so that they may live life to the fullest." Approximately 2,000 people live at Cedar Crest, an Erickson Living full-service retirement community that promotes a vibrant lifestyle.  Erickson Living develops and manages 16 full-service retirement communities that provide worry-free living for America's seniors - the country's fastest-growing population segment.  Erickson Living's refundable entrance deposit and predictable monthly service fees provide residents across the country financial peace of mind. Comprehensive health and wellness services, integrated into every community, lead to demonstrated resident benefits.  For more information, visit www.ericksonliving.com.