Demographics, real estate consolidation, and at what types of senior living communities people are receiving care are dominant trends being buzzed about in the healthcare REIT sector in the year ahead.
A video on REIT.com features interviews with a few CEOs of well-known industry REITs and what their focus will be on in 2013.
Ventas (NYSE:VTR) Chairman and CEO Debra Cafaro emphasized demographics, stressing that the 85-plus age group—which happens to be the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population— will be the primary consumers of skilled nursing and senior housing nationwide.
The baby boomers also cannot be ignored, she told REIT.com.
“The 79 million of us, the first group turning Medicare eligible last year. And there we see our medical office building and outpatient setting really serving that population,” said Cafaro.
Another distinct trend for 2013 will be what Jay Flaherty, Chairman and CEO of HCP Inc. (NYSE:HCP) believes will stem from Washington’s fiscal cliff agreements.
“With that, the operators in the health care space will have a lot of consolidation activity, and as a derivative of that, real estate portfolios will fall out of that activity and present themselves for health care REITs to take a look at,” said Flaherty.
Whether patients receive care at assisted living, skilled nursing facilities or hospitals will also prove to be a shifting trend as 2013 unfolds, according to Wendy Simpson, president and CEO of LTC Properties, Inc. (NYSE:LTC).
“Assisted living communities are keeping residents a little longer, so they are a little more frail in the homes,” said Simpson, which prompts speculation as to when residents will move to skilled nursing facilities or hospitals.
“The thing is really the level of care and where you are going to be receiving that care,” she said.
Written by Jason Oliva