Publications

- July 1, 2021: Vol. 15, Number 7

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Star performer: Student accommodation is showing surprising resilience, but is it set for a resurgence?

by Richard Ward

Purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) has been one of the property sector’s star performers over the past decade. Despite the uncertainties about the road to recovery in 2021, investors remain confident about student accommodation as an asset class. So, given the sector’s tribulations, why are investors convinced it will remain a good bet over the next decade?

The global rush towards higher education is one of the main driving forces behind the success of the student accommodation sector. Savills has said that, over the past decade, international student numbers rose by 65 percent, and the market is predicted to expand from 5 million in 2020 to 8 million by 2025.

Internationally, the principal force behind these figures is the growth of the wealthy middle- and upper-classes in China and India, who are prepared to pay for a prestigious international education at a top institution. Domestically, demographic growth is also a driver. Take the UK, Europe’s most d

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