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'Student housing remains the most resilient asset class': Samuel Vetrak, Bonard
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'Student housing remains the most resilient asset class': Samuel Vetrak, Bonard

Student Housing in 2020

As for the sectors into which capital is flowing, residential once again dominates the upper echelons of Emerging Trends Europe’s investment rankings, taking six of the top 10 slots. Retirement or assisted living, affordable housing, rented residential and student accommodation are operationally more complex than traditional real estate.


Co-living and, to a lesser extent, serviced apartments are nascent when it comes to significant interest from investors. But all these sectors are seen as being underpinned by strong demographic demand.

Source: PwC and the Urban Land Institute. Emerging Trends in Real Estate® Europe 2020. London: PwC and the Urban Land Institute, 2019.
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Student housing among the best sectors in 2020:

  • ranks as #5 among all sector prospects

  • ranks as #4 in sector investment prospects


European Student Housing Supply:

130 most popular European cities


million internationally mobile students (globally)


million beds






investment in the sector excl. US (2019)

Source: Bonard, 2020

SH Investment Briefing Webinar, Apr 2020
Keynote by Samuel Vetrak, CEO, BONARD
Expo Real 2019: SH Investment Update
Keynote by Samuel Vetrak, CEO, BONARD
Recent News
Student housing: Higher and higher education

As increasing numbers of people around the world attain middle-class status and have more disposable income, we have entered a new era of global mobility. More and more people can afford to travel abroad, be it for leisure, business or education, and students are leaving their countries and cities of origin to obtain better quality or more appropriate education programmes than those available to them at home.


According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, the number of tertiary education students has expanded by 5.8% per annum over the past five measured years, with 5.3m students crossing borders to study 2017.


A yearly global student housing report by specialist market-research and advisory firm Bonard has confirmed that demand is driven by the constant growth in mobile and international student numbers – for example, 4.3% pa in continental Europe. The demand is growing faster than in other asset classes and even during economic downturns, making it a counter-cyclical asset class.


Acknowledging the economic and cultural benefits of hosting international students, numerous study destinations across the globe are stimulating the internationalisation of higher education. Countries such as Canada, France, Turkey, Germany, Malaysia, China, Japan, South Korea and Australia have all set out ambitious strategic plans and targets to reach a certain number of international students – and some have met their goals earlier than expected.

Originally published in IPE Real Assets on 2nd March 2020. Read more below.