A variety of differences exist between the way senior housing and healthcare is financed in China and the United States. In an effort to learn from each other, a 22-member delegation from the General Office of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China recently visited Chicago to learn about senior housing finance in The United States from Cambridge Realty Capital.

Cambridge Chairman Jeffrey A. Davis stated, “We respected the group’s quest for knowledge and believed hosting the delegation would provide an outstanding opportunity to meet, trade ideas, and learn if there are best practices we might share.” He went on to say, “given China’s population of 1.3 billion and the migration from rural areas to the city that has been going on for two decades, China has a huge demand for senior housing. Delegation members asked us quite a bit about the different government programs in the U.S.” The Chinese delegation was especially interested in the returns on investments and how properties were distinguished into different senior housing types.

The visit consisted of a two-hour presentation in which Mr. Davis went over the diverse U.S. senior housing products, the senior housing infrastructure in America, and how they complement the U.S. market. He also reviewed the points of a white paper that discussed growth opportunities for major investors and the differences between them.

This presentation and exchange of knowledge comes at a time of transition in the Chinese world of senior housing. For a long time elder family members lived with their family for the majority of their lives. Traditionally, the family unit is the highest priority in China. This traditional arrangement is starting to change along with the changing economy in China. The modernization of China has forced many younger men to travel to more metropolitan areas where there is not sufficient place for the family elders. This new cultural and economic shift has left many seniors without sufficient caring facilities. Due to this shift there is a lack of adequate senior caring facilities.

The change in the Chinese economy and the rapid industrialization of China has upended this normal family situation and a smart senior housing program is needed in China, which is why this meeting was so important to the Chinese delegation.

The Chinese delegation learned a variety of important lessons from the exchange including the advanced nature of the U.S. financing and senior housing sector is compared to the Chinese market which is still in its infancy when it comes to the senior housing market. The delegation also learned from the types of government financing programs. This knowledge will surely assist China in their senior housing environment. Mr. Davis also expressed his enjoyment of the exchange of ideas and his hope to repeat the summit in the future.

Cambridge Realty Capital will continue to be a leader in senior housing investment and will continue to advise and assist other countries in improving their senior housing finance and markets.

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