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In a sickly real estate market, medical offices a healthier asset

New York Times, November 3, 2008

Few healthy spots can be found in the ailing real estate market right now, but some big real estate investors are discovering a better prognosis in medical office buildings. The sector, which has an estimated property value of $173 billion, has emerged as a haven of sorts in these uncertain times, for the simple reason that healthcare needs are largely impervious to economic conditions. Institutional investors like pension funds, private firms and real estate investment trusts, or REITs expect that demand for medical office buildings will only intensify as graying baby boomers require more healthcare and as insurers and government agencies push doctors to perform lower-risk procedures outside hospital settings.