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Healthcare oriented investments are often believed likely to grow as the nation ages and medical advancements continue to improve quality of life and longevity. As an investment option, some investors appreciate healthcare REITs as a way to invest in hospitals, short / long term rehabilitation facilities and senior health retirement centers. Some may argue that both REIT and healthcare exposure are necessary to maintain a prudently allocated portfolio of assets. Generally, REITs are chosen for income and / or as real estate.
Medical real estate is an interesting and highly specific industry, with varying niche sub-industries such as those mentioned above, amongst others. This is an analysis of the relative value and dividend growth rates of healthcare REITs. The mentioned REITs all have market capitalizations of at least $2 Billion.
HCP, Inc. (HCP)
  1. Current Yield: 5.1%
  2. 2011-to-date performance: 2.33
Health Care REIT Inc. (HCN)
  1. Current Yield: 5.4%
  2. 2011-to-date performance: 12.41%
Omega Healthcare Investors Inc. (OHI)
  1. Current Yield: 5.04%
  2. 2011-to-date performance: -5.57%
Senior Housing Properties Trust (SNH)
  1. Current Yield: 6.3%
  2. 2011-to-date performance: 11.16%
Universal Health Realty Income Trust (UHT)
  1. Current Yield: 5.9%
  2. 2011-to-date performance: 15.27%

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Healthcare can be highly dependent upon the economy and general employment rates. Individuals with healthcare coverage are far more likely to regularly see doctors. Any substantive development in socializing healthcare could also have unforeseen -- positive or negative -- impacts upon the industry.
The aging population -- and specifically the transitioning of baby-boomers into Medicare -- should certainly increase the volume of healthcare provided as well as the need for new facilities. Additionally, many are betting against real estate, and healthcare is believed to be especially sensitive to not only economic, but also political issues, such as the present debt limit debate.

Additionally, Ventas (VTR) used to pay a dividend at this rate, but recently lowered it in conjunction with its acquisition of Nationwide Health Properties. After absorbing Nationwide, its dividend should likely return to this level.

Disclaimer: This article should not be construed as personalized investment advice as it does not take into account your specific situation or objectives.


Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
Source: 5 Healthcare REITs That Yield Over 5%