NHI CEO: ‘Trance’ Over Senior Housing Cap Rates Could End

Competition seems to be ramping up among senior housing owners seeking deals, and an expected shift in pricing might be why.

In fact, executives at Murfreesboro, Tennessee-based National Health Investors (NYSE: NHI) have been “in a trance” over senior housing cap rates—and they believe other senior housing owners have been, too.

“We’ve been in a trance watching cap rates compress for so long that people are nervous this could be the end of that game, if you will,” NHI President and CEO Eric Mendelsohn said Tuesday during a presentation at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2017 Health Care Conference in Las Vegas.

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Mendelsohn, once again, compared the current senior housing deal flow to a game of musical chairs, noting that senior housing owners are “scrambling to get their deals done before interest rates go up.”

NHI has some more deals up its sleeve for 2017, Mendelsohn hinted.

The REIT is currently targeting between $300 million and $500 million in acquisitions for 2017. A lot of NHI’s deals fall in the “eight-cap” rate range, according to Mendelsohn.

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“We’re seeing as robust a pipeline as we’ve ever seen,” he said.

NHI is competing primarily with smaller, private REITs for senior housing deals, as well as private equity. The REIT tends to do more of its business in the southern and midwestern U.S., as opposed to on the coasts, Mendelsohn pointed out.

There are additional factors that set NHI apart from the pack of other senior housing owners, he explained. 

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“We probably have one of the lowest, if not the lowest, G&A expense in the REIT universe—definitely the health care REIT universe,” Mendelsohn said.

NHI also has the highest revenue per employee of all the major health care REITs, he said, noting the company has 15 employees.

Written by Mary Kate Nelson

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