Fitch Ratings has assigned an A- rating to the expected issuance of $41.9 million of North Carolina Medical Care Commission health care facilities first mortgage revenue refunding bonds, series 2016, on behalf of Deerfield Episcopal Retirement Community.
In addition, Fitch has upgraded to ‘A-’ from ‘BBB+’ the ratings on revenue bonds issued through the North Carolina MCC on behalf of Deerfield. The Rating Outlook is revised to Stable from Positive. The key drivers of the rating revision are Deerfield’s strong occupancy, consistent growth in liquidity, solid profitability, and debt burden.
Deerfield has a long history of operations in Asheville, NC, that dates back to 1955. Deerfield maintains a national draw on prospective residents as approximately 31% of current residents come from other states in the U.S., while 24% come from other areas in NC and 45% are from its primary market area. The geographic diversity amongst prospective residents is viewed favorably and is attributed to Deerfield’s status as a “destination” CCRC. Fitch believes this regional/national draw of residents helps insulate Deerfield from local and regional economic and real-estate pressures and has led to robust occupancy levels over the last few fiscal years.
Additional information is available at www.fitchratings.com