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Us Developers Target Chinese Property Market

News Posted On: 29 April 2011

Some US developers are targeting the Chinese property market, especially housing for senior citizens. The number of people in China are reaching retirement age will surpass the US population in less than 40 years, and it's predicted that this will happen by 2050.

A number of US companies are already doing business in China, developing and managing assisted living and senior living communities. These include CRSA, TransGlobal Assets and Merrill Gardens, while Emeritus and Columbia Pacific Advisers have joined forces to explore opportunities in China.

China doesn't have much senior housing, and traditionally elderly parents would be cared for at home. China's one child policy is making this increasingly difficult to achieve, while the growing middle-class is becoming more able to afford senior living communities that offer enhanced amenities.

The Chinese government has recognised that building more senior housing should be a priority, and the country is looking towards American operational expertise. However it's still important that Chinese customs are incorporated into this new type of housing and it won't work to simply build the same type of senior housing available in America. It's also common for older people in China to give their homes to relatives or their children, so selling the family home to finance a retirement home is not a viable option.

The first Chinese retirement home opened in Shanghai in 2008 and has about 800 apartments. Residents had to pay a membership fee of $67,000-$132,000 and also have to pay an annual maintenance fee of $3600. The average annual income in cities is currently $6000, so this home is extremely expensive by Chinese standards. However US developers remain confident that there are sufficient people with enough capital who would choose to live in a high-end retirement home.

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