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2019 MOB deal volume continues the cooling trend after coming off historical highs in 2017. While total volume may be down, a theme continues - private investors represent the greatest percentage of acquisitions.
In the past twelve months, over 21 million square feet of medical office space have been delivered across the country. More than 35% of that has been condensed in 10 markets.
Although 22nd in rank for population, Charlotte is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation. Over the past 10 years the population has grown almost 60%! In 2010 the population rank was only 33… Affordable housing and lower cost of living paired with rapid economic growth and a hot job market has generated a population magnet.
Hospital construction across the US is in the midst of a delivery spike as many projects, both new hospitals and additions, open this year. As of the end of 2018 Philadelphia had the largest under construction hospital pipeline of any metro with 4.4 Million square feet and 14 projects under construction, almost double the square footage of the runner up, Washington DC.
In past metro highlights we’ve talked about growth markets with lots of construction activity, interesting markets with innovative health systems, metros with the highest sales volume, but what about the tightest markets? The ones with the highest rent growth, the most expensive pricing and the lowest vacancy? Flipping through our Metro Rankings report, San Francisco clearly fits the bill.
Over the past year or so there have been many headlines speaking to how hot the medical real estate sector is. You see them pop up in your email or news feed: "Sales volume is at all time highs"..... "New investors are entering the sector right and left"...."Medical Real Estate Hitting Post Recession Peak". At times like this, many investors are getting priced out of the 'cream' offerings that trade and the heavy weight health system construction projects. So it would stand to reason that those interested parties would look elsewhere....and they are.
As REITs pull back on acquisitions and focus more on refining their portfolios, private equity groups have more than taken up the slack. Total healthcare real estate transaction volume may have cooled ever so slightly - but not much - and so far this year, private investor buyers are making up 76% of that total.
This unassuming market is number 2 in terms of outpatient building deliveries and 4th for total deal volume. Even rent growth has been consistently surpassing the national average.
The bread-and-butter medical office building (MOB) deal continues to entail the sale of a single building for a price of less $20 million, often quite a bit less.
Such deals, of course, do not typically satisfy the appetites of the sector’s largest investors, including private equity funds, the larger publicly traded REITs, and institutions, as well as foreign capital. Such investors prefer deals that provide immediate scale instead of having to accumulate a portfolio by making smaller, one-building acquisitions.