Medical Office REIT Healthcare Trust Expects to be Active in Acquisitions in 2017

1/9/2017 | By Sarah Borchersen-Keto

Robert Milligan, CFO of Healthcare Trust of America (NYSE: HTA), joined REIT.com for a video interview at REITWorld 2016: NAREIT’s Annual Convention for All Things REIT at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge.

Milligan explained that Healthcare Trust, a medical office building specialist, focuses on 20 to 25 gateway markets where the company expects to see growth in the next 10 to 20 years.

In terms of acquisition opportunities, Healthcare Trust is particularly interested in assets situated on a hospital campus, or within close proximity to one, as well as assets on a medical school campus. Community core outpatient locations are also an area of focus for Healthcare Trust, Milligan said.

Healthcare Trust made approximately $700 million of acquisitions in 2016, according to Milligan. He said he expects to continue to find assets in the coming year that meet the company’s criteria.

Milligan noted that there are “tremendous tailwinds” in the medical office sector, coming from an aging population and the movement to lower-cost outpatient centers. He added that the REIT likes to invest with health care systems as tenants, as well as independent physician groups.

“Our property types are multi-tenanted in locations where you get healthcare systems competing for space in prime locations,” Milligan said. “If you are in the right spots, those tenants are going to stay with you for a very long time,” he added.

Meanwhile, Milligan said the medical office segment is still relatively under-invested from an institutional perspective.

“We still think there are a lot of opportunities for us all to go around,” he said.

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