Companies: HTA makes $129M of Q4 purchases

After $181M of acquisitions in 2020, REIT projects $300M-$600M for 2021

By John B. Mugford

In 2020, HTA completed its first development project not carried over from its Duke Realty healthcare group acquisition in 2017. That was this 127,000 square foot MOB at 210 Ashville Avenue Cary, N.C., anchored by WakeMed Health System. (Photo courtesy of HTA)

After remaining somewhat quiet during much of a pandemic-ridden 2020, Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Healthcare Trust of America Inc. (NYSE: HTA) finished the year with a more-active fourth quarter (Q4).

In a recent business update as well as its Q4 results, the publicly traded real estate investment trust (REIT), which is focused on acquiring, owning and managing medical office buildings (MOBs), reported that it made acquisitions totaling more than $129 million in Q4, capping off a year in which it made purchases totaling $181 million. The average capitalization (cap) rate, or expected first-year return, of the investments was 5.8 percent.

That $181 million of acquisitions in 2020 was down significantly – about 67.7 percent – from 2019, when HTA made investments totaling $560.5 million. HTA, it should be noted, was not the only healthcare-focused REIT to reduce its acquisitions in 2020, as the REITs as a group saw their total share of volume in 2020 fall to a low point in the past five years. According to HRE data firm Revista, the REITs accounted for just 17 percent of all acquisitions in 2020, down from 32 percent in 2019.

While HTA indeed slowed its investment pace in 2020, HTA reported that it

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