While the U.S. demand for senior housing is expected to surge in the coming years, it doesn’t hold a candle to the aging boom in China, a Forbes column writes.
Citing recent figures indicating there are about 10,000 people who are seeking senior care for every 12 beds that become available each year, Forbes points to the challenge—and opportunity—investors are seeing in China.
“What’s the best business opportunity in China at the moment for the foreign direct investor?” Forbes columnist Gordon Chang asks. “There is a growing consensus that, in a few years, it will be building and operating facilities for the aged.”
The numbers are striking, with 194 million people over the age of 60 in China as of year-end 2012, Chang writes. It is expected to surge to 480 million in the next three decades.
Private investors including domestic and foreign counterparts are beginning to make some headway in China, but have struggled with a proven business model, despite taking “tips” from the U.S. Some are seeking solutions elsewhere, with a recent development plan comprising 12 properties—only eight of which will be in China. The first, slated for Dubai, will span four million square feet of space.
“Ultimately, the market should dominate the providing of housing and care,” Chang writes. “That housing and care just might not be in China, however.”
Written by Elizabeth Ecker