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Feature Story: MOBs keep performing, with occupancy rising to 91.7%

Revista data shows that MOB sales totaled $2.4B in Q2, putting the first -half 2021 total at $4.4B

By John B. Mugford

According to Revista, the average MOB occupancy rate rose to 91.7 percent in Q2 from 91.4 percent in Q1, while about 4.4 million square feet of space was absorbed in Q2, up about 390 percent from Q2 2020, during the early days of the pandemic. (Chart courtesy of Revista)

The good news continues to build for those involved in the medical office building (MOB) sector, as the product type is showing just how strong it is even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to linger.

In the latest MOB statistics compiled by Arnold, Md.-based Revista, which provides a wide variety of healthcare real estate (HRE) data for its subscribers, the occupancy rate and the absorption of space in outpatient facilities larger than 7,500 square feet in the country’s top 50 metropolitan areas both increased in the second quarter (Q2) 2021.

According to Mike Hargrave, principal with Revista, the occupancy rate increased to 91.7 percent in Q2 from 91.4 percent in Q1 while a whopping 4.4 million square feet of space was absorbed in Q2, up from less than 2 million square feet in Q1 and up about 390 percent from Q3 2020 in the quarter after the onset of the pandemic.

“As the pandemic unfolded, absorption grew weak in the ensuing quarters of 2020,” Mr. Hargrave said. “In fact, in the third quarter of 2020 it was below a million square feet, about 900,000 square feet. Absorption has been picking up since then, and we’ve seen a very strong second quarter of 2021.”

Mr. Hargrave and another firm principal, Hilda Flower Martin, presented a wide variety of up-to-date HRE and MOB data during Revista’s recent “Second Quarter 2021 Subscriber Webcast.”

For many professionals involved in MOBs, perhaps one of the most-anticipated statistics released by Revista during the webcast had to do with the sales volume.

According to Ms. Martin, MOB sales totaled

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