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Strong investor demand for alternative real estate investments such as social infrastructure has seen strong inflows into Australian Unity’s Healthcare Property Trust (HPT) over the last year.

Mark Pratt, head of real estate investment at Australian Unity, said HPT has received inflows of approximately $140 million over the last financial year.

“The on-going demand from investors for social infrastructure investments has been a trend for some time now and shows no sign of diminishing.

“The resulting inflows into HPT have given us significant capacity and the challenge for us now is to find the right assets to add to the fund.

“Social infrastructure assets including private and public hospitals and medical facilities have always been thinly-traded.

“We are continually looking for opportunities to expand and have circa $350 million in available capacity to acquire new properties that meet our acquisition criteria, or to expand existing ones to enhance the services they provide.”

Mr Pratt said that competition for assets from both onshore and offshore investors has intensified in recent years.

“We are always working with existing tenants to help them grow via brownfield developments.  A good example of this is our development of The Valley Private Hospital in the Victorian suburb of Mulgrave, which delivered many benefits to the area including additional jobs as well as enhanced medical care and support.

“There is untapped potential for existing private owners, including churches and charitable organisations, to release capital held in their properties to facilitate further development and growth.

“We believe there is a significant role for private capital to support and expand the social infrastructure services that are currently provided primarily by the public sector – a role that will inevitably change in coming years as the government seeks alternatives to support the provision of healthcare and medical services required by our ageing population.

“Use of private hospitals will continue to rise to take the pressure off the public system, which in turn will increase demand on existing private hospitals and medical centres.

“This will be to the benefit of investors who have enjoyed attractive stable returns since the HPT started 15 years ago despite recent market and economic volatility,” Mr Pratt said.

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For more information contact:

Mark Pratt – Phone: 0408 611 539

 

Over the past 15 years the Australian Unity Healthcare Property Trust has grown to become one of the largest and highest-rated unlisted property funds in Australia. Today, it has a diversified tenant base and holds a quality direct portfolio of 25 healthcare properties across Australia, valued at over $550 million (as at 30 June 2014).  Since its inception on 30 June 1999 it has returned 10.37 per cent per annum[1].  In Morningstar’s Australian Institutional Sector survey it is the best performing Australian direct property fund over one year, five years and ten years.[2]

 

Australian Unity Investments is the funds management arm of Australian Unity, a national healthcare, financial services and retirement living organisation that has been operating for more than 170 years.   It is a mutual organisation and provides services to some 600,000 Australians, including 320,000 members.

Over the past decade, the Australian Unity Real Estate Investment team has become one of Australia’s premier unlisted, direct property fund managers. It currently owns and manages more than 50 properties in the healthcare, retail and commercial sectors across Australia and has more than $1.6 billion in funds under management (as at 30 June 2014).

Informed by Australian Unity’s broad and influential community of investment and wellbeing experts, the Real Estate Investment team aims to go further in its insights into Australia’s commercial property markets and deliver deeper perspective to investors.

[1] As at 31 March 2014

[2] Morningstar Australian institutional sector survey, Australian direct property, May 2014

8 July 2014