When it comes to financing senior housing/healthcare properties, there are worlds of difference between the ways it’s done in China and the U.S.

In an effort to close the information gap, a 22 member delegation of officials from the General Office of the State Council of the Peoples Republic of China recently traveled more than 7,000 miles to the U.S.  to visit and learn from experts here.  In Chicago, the group called on Cambridge Realty Capital Companies, one of the nation’s leading senior housing/healthcare lenders.

“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,” said Cambridge Chairman Jeffrey A. Davis.

“Given its 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.,” he said.

“Our visitors also were interested in returns and in how properties in the U.S. were segmented into different senior housing types,” he added.

In a two hour presentation Mr. Davis described the various U.S. senior housing products and how and where they fit in a competitive U.S. marketplace.   And he briefly reviewed highlights of a whitepaper he prepared in conjunction with Professor Worzala of Clemson University that discussed growing opportunities for major investors in senior housing and how to distinguish between them.

What did the visitors take away from the exchange?

“The major takeaway in my opinion was how advanced the U.S. financing and senior housing business is compared with China.  Most helpful to the visitors was information on various types of government financing programs,” Mr. Davis said.

“This absolutely is something we’d happily do again.  It was a great opportunity for idea sharing that we enjoyed very much,” he added.

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