Who knows? But the same opportunities and threats will likely return to the forefront after COVID-19 recedes
By John B. Mugford
Back in late January, when healthcare real estate (HRE) data firm Revista held its 2020 Medical Real Estate Investment Forum in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., nearly all known cases of COVID-19 were in China and the virus was just beginning to turn up in the United States. So it’s not surprising that the outbreak wasn’t a hot topic during a Revista panel discussion featuring executives from four of the nation’s most active HRE development firms.
Things are different now, of course. But it’s still difficult to predict the impact the COVID-19 pandemic will have on current and future HRE development — perhaps aside from a general presumption of a construction slowdown of an undetermined duration. It seems logical to assume that some projects might be delayed by labor shortages resulting from sick and quarantined workers. And even if workers are available, some developers and healthcare providers might put projects on hold until the uncertainty passes.
But it will pass. There will come a day when COVID-19 is on the wane, and HRE development could very well be more active than ever. We might even see the type of pent-up demand the HRE sector experienced after the Great Recession.
So it might be useful to reflect on the insights the Revista panelists shared, as those issues will return to the forefront after the pandemic is brought under control.
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