Feature Story: Headwinds aside, the economy and HRE sector look strong

John Chang, MMI’s director of research, shares his forecast for 2022 and beyond

By John B. Mugford

John Chang (HREI photo)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – For a number of years now, executives with leading firms in the healthcare real estate (HRE) sector have tried in vain to predict whether the historically low interest rates of recent years will be on the rise or remain relatively the same.

As anyone involved in the business world would expect, as inflation continues to rise, interest rates are likely to rise in 2022 as well, with the Federal Reserve announcing that it has plans for three such rate hikes next year.

Even so, this potential headwind for firms and individuals involved in the HRE sector, in addition to some other obstacles that include the perseverance of the COVID-19 pandemic and its latest variant, omicron, as well as rising labor and construction costs, supply chain difficulties and other issues, are not likely to cause big disruptions in the sector and the industry it is reliant upon, healthcare itself.

This is also the case for the overall economy, which faces myriad obstacles as well – including an inflation rate of 6.2 percent, the highest since 1990 – but which is poised to remain strong in 2022.

These thoughts and predictions come from John Chang, senior VP and national director of research and advisory services with Calabasas, Calif.-based Marcus & Millichap Inc. (NYSE: MMI), a commercial real estate (CRE) investment sales, financing, research and advisory firm with more than 80 offices in the United States and Canada.

Mr. Chang provided an economic update for the year ahead, when he predicts

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