Europe’s growing PBSA sector
MARCH 1, 2024

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Europe’s growing PBSA sector

by Marek Handzel

Even purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA), a counter-cyclical property type if ever there was one, suffered from the malaise that high interest rates inflicted on real estate investment in 2023.

“I was at a number of conferences last year,” says Darren Gardner, CEO of Nido, the European student housing operator and manager. “And there was all the uncertainty around the macroeconomic situation and the debt markets. Nothing was moving and construction prices were going up. And that inherently led to the analysts and the people who deal with the numbers spreading a little bit more doom and gloom.”

Behind the depressing economic headlines, however, student housing continues to tell a positive story.

“Whenever the world is in turmoil, people actually flock to education,” says Gardner. “There is a push to education because people think [to themselves] ‘the world is tough out there; I need to have a good degree to get a good job’.


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