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  • Alex Pettee, CFA

Healthcare REITs: Back On Life Support

  • The United States healthcare system has taken center-stage amid the coronavirus outbreak. Healthcare REITs have been on a roller-coaster ride amid evolving forecasts of the severity of the pandemic.

  • Healthcare REITs were slammed during the early-onset of the outbreak but have recovered in recent weeks as death rate estimates have, thankfully, been revised drastically lower from early catastrophic figures.

  • While likely less devastating on underlying demographics than once feared, no healthcare real estate sector is immune from the significant near-term and long-term effects of the pandemic.

  • For senior housing, skilled nursing, and hospital REITs already dealing with soft underlying fundamentals, the pandemic will put a sizable dent in near-term demand and drive significantly higher expense growth.

  • The positive long-term outlook for senior housing remains intact as the long-awaited demographic-driven demand boom is finally arriving. Behaviors and attitudes towards senior housing and telemedicine, however, shouldn't be overlooked.

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