Vital Healthcare flags A$15.5M of Australian developments, sells NZ property

Vital Healthcare Property Trust, the country’s biggest listed medical and healthcare property investor, has signalled development plans totalling A$15.5 million in Australia, and has sold a New Zealand property as it looks to exit low-growth assets.

The property investor has a A$9.5 million redevelopment plan to expand its Belmont Private Hospital in Brisbane and A$6 million upgrade of its Hurstville Private Hospital in Sydney, Vital Healthcare Management, the trust’s manager, said in a statement. Vital has also agreed to an unconditional sale of Hisbiscus Coast Community Health Centre in Whangaparoa for $4.2 million.

The Belmont extension will add 30 beds, extra consulting suites and car parking, and is expected to be completed in September next year, while the Hurstville expansion will add two new angiography suites, a six-bend coronary care unit and a six-bed intensive care unit, with an completion date set for May 2015.

“The developments and asset sale continue to support Vital’s overall strategy of creating capacity to meet rising demand for healthcare services,” Vital Healthcare Management chief executive David Carr said. “Vital is a committed investor in healthcare real estate and we are pleased to partner again with Healthe Care to undertake the brownfield developments which remains a successful strategy to enhance the long-term quality and value of Vital’s portfolio.”

Vital Healthcare is investing in private hospital facilities in New Zealand and Australia as it expects demand to increase from an ageing population, a rise in chronic disease and higher patient expectations. About 47 percent of Australians have private health care cover for hospitals, compared to about 30 percent of New Zealanders.

Units in the property trust fell 1.3 percent to $1.47, and have gained 16 percent this year.

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