Healthcare real estate in a post-covid world

July 2021

The new strategic function of healthcare real estate

The ongoing pandemic crisis has highlighted the need to expand healthcare real estate infrastructure, including: Retirement homes and assisted-living senior housing; Nursing homes; Hospitals/clinics; Psychiatric institutions.

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Society has become aware of the major role that the healthcare (treatment and infrastructure) sector might play in resolving crises.

Many weaknesses have also been revealed, however:

  • Institutions must rethink their healthcare infrastructure models and massively invest to offer suitable solutions;
  • As public supply is limited, governments will need to turn to private investors in healthcare real estate across Europe to meet future demand for new buildings and for the renovation of some ageing, and even obsolete, facilities.


These significant healthcare real estate infrastructure needs are driven over the long term by demographic factors:

  • The general growth of the population, which will put pressure on healthcare systems;
  • The rapid ageing of the population, which will result in people living longer in better health, but will also leave senior citizens facing the development of the conditions that come with advanced old age.

The demographic pressures already at work are having an impact in many European countries, but forecasts suggest that the pressure on healthcare systems will increase over the next 20 years. Understanding the drivers of the demographic and real estate trends affecting healthcare infrastructure is therefore essential for building a Europe-wide long-term investment policy.

Investment in healthcare infrastructure is at the intersection of major social and environmental challenges:

  • Reducing of the environmental footprint of real estate and increasing of the sustainability of buildings;
  • Prevention and management of health issues;
  • Inclusion of senior citizens in society, including the most dependent, in optimal care and safety conditions.

The social added value of these investments is coupled with an attractive and relatively reliable risk/return profile in current market conditions.

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The team

Daniel While
Daniel While Research, Strategy & Sustainability Director

Henry-Aurélien Natter
Henry-Aurélien Natter Head of Research