TEXT-Fitch on outlook for nonprofit continuing care retirement communities

Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:13pm EST

Dec 12 - The outlook for nonprofit continuing care retirement communities
(CCRCs) has been raised to stable from negative for 2013, reflecting continued
stability in financial performance and a slight improvement in the external
forces, according to a new report from Fitch Ratings.

'The improving outlook in the U.S. housing market and a very low interest rate
environment, which has allowed communities to refinance or borrow at
historically low fixed rates, are positive signs for the industry,' said Jim
LeBuhn, Senior Director at Fitch.

Despite a challenging environment, Fitch's rated borrowers have achieved stable
financial performance by focusing on expense control, enhancing revenue through
expanding short-term rehabilitation and home care services, and implementing
marketing strategies to increase sales.

Despite many metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) stabilizing and beginning to
stage a turnaround, some key MSAs remain under pressure struggling with a
backlog of distressed inventory and long liquidation timelines. Other locations
that have not experienced a correction post-crisis, such as San Francisco and
the DC suburbs, still appear overvalued on a fundamental basis.

Independent living (IL) occupancy has stabilized for the first time since 2008.
Fitch expects IL occupancy to further improve in 2013 due to management's
marketing initiatives and increased demand from potential residents.

Fitch will host a conference call to discuss its 2013 US Healthcare outlook on
December 13th at 2:00 PM eastern.

Dial-in details are:
--U.S. Participants: +1-877-467-8597
--International Participants: +1-706-643-6296
--Conference and Replay ID: 73935205

Replays will be available for 30 days. Replay dial-ins are accessible using the
following numbers:
--U.S. Replay: +1-855-859-2056
--International Replay: +1-404-537-3406

For more information, a special report titled '2013 Outlook: Nonprofit
Continuing Care Retirement Communities' is available on the Fitch Ratings web
site at www.fitchratings.com or by clicking on the link below.

Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.

Applicable Criteria and Related Research: 2013 Outlook: Nonprofit Continuing
Care Retirement Communities
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