Destinations of Capital in the Student Accommodation Arena

The US and the UK remain the two most mature global PBSA markets when measured by investment volumes, accounting for 56% and 31% of total global investment in 2018 respectively. While this is likely to continue to be the case, other markets are starting to catch up. Investment into European student housing from overseas has totalled $2.3bn over the last three years, a significant increase on historic volumes, though still some way behind the $8.4bn and $6.3bn invested in the US and UK respectively. Given current strong returns in European markets, as well as the variety of investors currently looking to deploy capital, this trend is set to continue as the sector matures (page 16).

Asia’s role is also growing rapidly, not just as a source of outbound capital, but as a destination for inward investment. The emergence of Chinese institutions within world university ranking tables is indicative of this, a trend we explore later in the report. European investment into student property markets in Asia-Pacific doubled in 2018.

In the longer term, the share of investment into Asia Pacific markets is predicted to increase further. Australian higher education, in particular, continues to attract a larger share of the world’s internationally-mobile students.  However, in the short-term and medium term across the next ten years, so strong is the focus from both Asia Pacific and North American investors on US and UK Student Accomodation that that these areas are expected to be the primary focus for investment.


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