A doctor in the house? Yes, and he owns it, too
The New York Times | By: Vivian Marino
About four years ago, Dr. Robert Vogt-Lowell started putting money into what he now considers to be his best investment yet: medical offices for his pediatric cardiology practice.
More and more healthcare professionals are making such investments, snapping up everything from office condos to shares in medical buildings and complexes. But they are hardly the only ones buying. In the last 18 months or so, large investors like pension funds, real estate investment trusts and private companies have been expanding their holdings in medical office buildings.
Kenneth A. Weston, a real estate consultant and developer whose firm, Kenneth Weston & Associates, Inc. specializes in medical office condos in South Florida, says the high prices in many large metropolitan areas have pushed investors to look in secondary or tertiary markets. (“People there get sick too,” he said.)
The Miami market “is so hot that some people are buying buildings with capitalization rates as low as 1 or 2 percent, which is financial suicide,” he said. “They’re buying with the idea of being able to create a condo complex out of it.”
Right now, around $375,000 to $675,000 buys a 1,500 square foot office condo in the Miami area, he said, which is almost double the average price of just three years ago.
There is no shortage of takers, though, at least for his condo buildings. “When I do my medical projects, 50 percent are pre-sold to users before we do the projects,” he said.