Publications

- February 1, 2020: Vol. 14, Number 2

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An educated guess: Investors are betting on the continued success of the UK’s purpose built student accommodation market

by Marek Handzel

Throughout the purpose built student accommodation (PBSA) market’s short history, fluctuating supply pipelines have been a source of immense frustration and almost unbridled excitement.

The sector’s ability to take investors on a rollercoaster of shifting sentiment has been particularly evident in the UK, which has seen a number of changes in the past decade that have transformed large elements of the country’s higher education system.

As Charles Ferguson-Davie, chief investment officer at UK specialist private equity real estate fund manager Moorfield Group, says, there have constantly been cities and towns in the UK that have either been oversupplied or undersupplied. “That’s just normal,” he says. “We’ve been invested in the sector since 1997, and we’ve always been looking for supply and demand imbalances that would be helpful or counter-productive to our investments.”

At present, there is no end in sight for the PBSA sector’s oscillati

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