Student housing has become the number one alternative asset class, with over 700 companies investing in the sector. Increased mobility and demand from foreign students has led to a boom in student housing in Europe, while micro living has being boosted by demand from young urban professionals. What are the prospects for the two sectors? Residential is shape-shifting: as co-living increases in popularity, will the boundaries between asset classes gradually dissolve?
At a time of geopolitical and economic uncertainty, do these asset classes offer a recession-proof opportunity? Looking at the data, what are the main trends? As the sectors mature, what are institutional investors looking for? How is the product evolving? Foreign students will continue coming to Europe - around a million a year from China alone. Which countries or cities will attract the most? The UK has led the way in student housing and it remains the largest, most mature and most liquid market, but what will be the impact of Brexit?
Will Germany continue to gain in popularity among international students? What about France and the Netherlands? Or Spain which is attracting Spanish-speaking students from Latin America? CEE is now coming into the picture, as Warsaw and Prague attract more foreign students. Which European cities are the most under-supplied? Urbanisation has underpinned the rise of micro living. Will the rise of ‘Generation Rent’, a flexible labour market and an increasingly mobile young workforce all continue to make the sector an attractive investment opportunity? Which 'winning cities' will benefit the most? Will rents continue to rise, as supply is not keeping up with demand? The market is very promising but fragmented in Europe. Is it possible to develop a pan-European strategy?
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