Some observations that Cambridge Realty Capital Companies Chairman Jeffrey A. Davis took away from last month’s National Investment Center (NIC) conference in Chicago:
- The popularity of senior housing is at an all-time high, as evidenced by the record turnout of 2,800 attendees.
- There is an abundance of new construction activity right now, but many of the current developers do not have senior housing experience, which could lead to some overbuilding in the market.
- Lenders seem to be fighting among themselves for ways to get their money working in the senior housing market. This may not be the best strategy – lenders need to have some discipline in their underwriting.
- It was surprising to learn that few owners use agents for conventional or agency finance placement. Direct to the source appears to be the way to go.
After holding 150 meetings at NIC, it’s clear that Cambridge offers intellectual capital that’s different from its competition. This is a niche market which demands specialists such as Cambridge, whose staff is 100-percent focused on senior housing and healthcare financing, rather than firms that work on other types of commercial real estate deals as well.