Investment opportunities for student housing in Europe

Published date03 September 2018
Date03 September 2018
AuthorNick French,Geetha Bhat,Gurpreet Matharu,Filipe Ortigão Guimarães,David Solomon
Investment opportunities for
student housing in Europe
Nick French
Real Estate Valuation Theurgy, Chichester, UK
Geetha Bhat
Mumbai, India
Gurpreet Matharu
Toronto, Canada
Filipe Ortigão Guimarães
Lisbon, Portugal, and
David Solomon
London, UK
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to provide an insight into how the demographic of international and
home students in the major university cities in three European countries (France, Spain and Germany) offers
investors an opportunity to provide students housing. This paper looks at how a mobile and demanding
student clientele now demands, well priced, good quality and purpose built accommodation during their
studies at University. This offers a good property investment opportunity.
Design/methodology/approach This practice briefing is an overview of the demand factors that are
creating opportunities in France, Spain and Germany.
Findings This paper analyses the link between the under provision of purpose built student housing and
an opportunity to develop a long-term cash flow producing investment asset.
Practical implications The role of the property developers and investors is to successfully identify
trends and demands and provide the assets that meet the market requirements. This paper looks at the
meeting point in three major European countries for this latent and, currently, poorly served demand.
Originality/value This provides guidance on how investment opportunities develop in non-traditional
property markets.
Keywords Germany, France, Spain, Alternative property investments, European cities, Student housing
Paper type Case study
My digs look as if theyve been dug. David Nicholls[1]
Real estate investors have historically concentrated upon traditional asset classes. In the
UK, up until the late 1990s, this was primarily commercial investment properties in offices,
retail and industrial. That said, the REIT market has a way of exploring and finding new
investment opportunities and portfolios of leisure properties, nursing homes, logistics and a
whole range of residential property types from retirement homes to large scale private
rented sector developments. One of these emerging niche markets is student housing.
Student housing in Western Europe is an untapped and evolving niche market that
deserves more attention. Countries such as France, Spain, Germany and Italy have
witnessed healthy growth in their indigenous and international student populations. Cities
such as Paris, Berlin, Madrid and Munich have demonstrated a clear shortage of student
housing stock.
A high quality of education, affordable fees and favourable visa rules is fuelling growth
in student migration to countries such as France, Spain and Germany. Simple supply and
demand economics suggests that existing and new housing stock is likely to fall short of
Journal of Property Investment &
Vol. 36 No. 6, 2018
pp. 578-584
© Emerald PublishingLimited
DOI 10.1108/JPIF-08-2018-0058
Received 13 August 2018
Accepted 13 August 2018
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