What’s Behind Medical Office Buildings’ Strong Trajectory
One of the US’ fastest growing industries, healthcare spending reached almost $3.5 trillion annually in 2017.
The US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services anticipates national healthcare expenditures to grow to $5.7 trillion by 2026. With this growth, healthcare real estate, specifically medical office buildings, are poised for further success.
Medical Office Buildings
Medical office buildings comprise approximately 10% percent of the US office sector. These buildings are typically about 40,000 square feet and range from small physician offices to large healthcare systems. Investors are attracted to this asset class due to its stability and positive forecasts for a strong performance. On the rise for the last four years, medical office sales totaled $10.4 billion in 2018.
“Medical office buildings are so popular and are in demand as a renovation or as new construction,” says Jason Signor, CEO and partner of Caddis Healthcare Real Estate. “The market is phenomenal and occupancy levels and rental rates are healthy.”
It is well-known that the the aging US population is directly correlated with the rising demand for healthcare as doctor visits dramatically increase with age. Individuals 65 years and older spend five times more on healthcare than those who are younger. Yet, even with the favorable demographic and economic backdrop, new healthcare construction has not kept up with demand.
“With the continued shift from inpatient to outpatient care, new real estate strategies are being implemented which includes moving to urgent care centers, MOBs, micro-hospitals and health-system sponsored wellness centers,” says Signor. “ Outpatient care is booming and will continue to flourish in the future. The challenge, of course, is for our sector to keep up with the growing demand.”
Ambulatory Surgery Centers
Ambulatory surgery centers—healthcare facilities which offer patients the option of having procedures and surgeries performed outside of the hospital setting—have drastically reduced healthcare costs. According to the American Hospital Association, the number of ASCs and hospitals are almost equal with 5,534 hospitals and 5,532 surgery centers. While hospitals have declined by 5%, surgery centers have grown as much as 82% since 2000.
“ASCs will continue to dominate the healthcare real estate landscape,” says Signor. “We won’t see these large hospital campuses being built as much. As the campuses get older however, you will see more renovations as hospitals keep up with medical technological advances and stay abreast with ASCs.”