Sector Overview – Healthcare REITs

Healthcare REITs provide a great investment opportunity that has caught the attention of investors over the last decade or two. The focus of these real estate companies is, as the name suggests, on healthcare. Companies in this sector hold interest in senior housing facilities, skilled nursing facilities, medical office buildings, hospitals etc. Some of these companies may hold interest in only one or two of the mentioned building types, while others may be more diversified. My Sector Overview – Utilities post generated a lot of interest from readers and I decided that a Sector Overview – Healthcare REITs would provide some good visibility for investors considering this sector.

Why Invest in Healthcare REITs

The case of investing in healthcare REITs is really strong when one simply looks at the demographics. The richest generation — the baby boomers — is now starting to retire. According to this 2010 research report from Pew Research, 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 each day for 19 years! Baby boomers make 26% of the total US population, and considering that most of them will require long-term care as they get older (our elderly now live longer thanks to the advancement in health and medical care), the investing case is pretty sound.

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HCP Inc – Safe to Buy?


HCP Inc is one of the largest healthcare REITs and facilities include hospitals, skilled nursing, senior housing, medical offices, and life sciences buildings. HCP Inc went public in 1985 with just 24 skilled nursing facilities in its portfolio and a market cap of $90M. The company has grown over the past 30 years to 1196 properties – which includes 478 Senior Housing Facilities, 20 Hospitals, 115 Life Sciences buildings, 301 Post-Acute/Skilled Property, and 282 Medical Office Buildings.

HCP sports an impressive 6.05% yield. The company is a dividend champion and has raised dividends for 30 consecutive years, with a 5-yr dividend growth rate of 3.4%. The company has had its fair share of issues – from an ousted CEO to financial issues and lease renegotiation with its largest tenant. Is it safe to buy as the company looks to the future for continued investment for growth in US and Europe?

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