Willow Valley Communities has again this year received the coveted “A” rating with a Stable Rating Outlook from Fitch Ratings, a leading provider of credit ratings, commentary, and research. Fitch Ratings, based in New York City and London, is the predominant debt rating agency in the senior living sector. The “A” rating communicates overall ﬁnancial health to the Residents who live at Willow Valley Communities, as well as to prospective Residents, as they assess the organization’s strength.
Fitch reported that the “A” rating reﬂects Willow Valley Communities’ solid ﬁnancial proﬁle, which is characterized by steady revenue growth and good operating ratios for a Lifecare community. Lifecare provides personal care, nursing care, or memory support, should it be needed, with no change to a Resident’s monthly service fee because of the increased level of care.
In supporting its rating, Fitch cited Willow Valley Communities’ unique national market draw, with current Residents coming from 37 different states: “Fitch believes Willow Valley Communities’ ability to draw Residents from a geographically broad area insulates it from potential stress in the local economy or housing market. Pennsylvania and Lancaster County are competitive markets. However, Fitch believes Willow Valley Communities’ pricing and ‘Type A’ Lifecare contract (most other Lancaster County Life Plan Communities offer a ‘Type C’ contract) keep Willow Valley Communities competitive in its local service area as well. Residents from out of the area are drawn to Willow Valley Communities for the level of amenities it offers relative to its modest independent living pricing.”
Fitch also stated that despite the coronavirus, “Revenues have remained largely intact and the overall ﬁnancial performance has remained steady.”