The so-called “big three” health care real estate investment trusts (REITs) continue to dominate as the largest non-provider senior living property owners in 2015, with Health Care REIT Inc. [NYSE: HCN] retaining its top position on the annual list from the Assisted Living Federation of America.
HCN ranked No. 1 in all three metrics considered, with more than 58,200 U.S. units, almost 600 properties, and a $19.5 billion investment value.
Ventas Inc. [NYSE: VTR] ranked second based on investment value of $8.6 billion, about 28,560 units and 270 U.S. properties. Those are senior housing operating portfolio properties; including triple-net leased properties, Ventas had nearly 750 properties as of the end of 2014, the company confirmed to SHN.
HCP Inc. [NYSE: HCP] came in third, with an investment value of $7.8 billion, roughly 45,300 units and 465 U.S. properties.
While these metrics were current as of Jan. 1, 2015, developments since then suggest that HCN will further cement its position on the list. The REIT announced a $2.2 billion first-quarter pipeline last month and subsequently completed a historic $1.5 billion overnight stock offering to help support the expansion. The first-quarter activity follows a busy year for HCN in 2014, which included a deal that cemented a partnership with Indiana-based post-acute developer Mainstreet.
This transaction is representative of general REIT strategy to build a continuum of care among their properties, ALFA stated in its report on the largest assisted living providers and owners.
“This is one of the roles that health care REITs can play,” HCN President of Seniors Housing and Post-Acute Chuck Herman told ALFA. “Because we own so many projects, we are able to bring together parties from across the spectrum of health care.”
Among other notable 2014 REIT deals that ALFA shone a light on: Holiday Retirement sold 29 independent living facilities to Ventas for $900 million in cash.
While REITs dominated the largest owners list, private equity also was represented, with New York-based Fortress Investment Group [NYSE: FIG] at No. 6 and Fort Worth, Texas-based TPG Capital at No. 8. In 2014, TPG Capital was the only non-REIT to make the top seven.
Written by Tim Mullaney