Student housing catches the eye of investors

Student residences are a growing asset with truly significant development possibilities, especially in our country, where the number of out-of-town university students continues to rise. In the last two years, it has exceeded 1.9 million according to the “Italy Student Housing” report by Savills, a leading real estate company, with the steadily increasing number of international students now accounting for 6.3% in universities and 15.2% in AFAM accommodation facilities. Even the number of mobile students has increased by 3% annually. Rome remains the main city for the number of university students (280,000), followed by Milan which boasts the highest number of international students in absolute terms (over 20,000).

The scenario

Beds available for students in Italy are currently around 68,000, but there are another 23,000 in the pipeline that will be available on the market in the next two years, with most openings expected in 2025 (40% in Milan). A significant increase in supply, therefore, which will not be sufficient to meet the growing demand, especially in the cities of Milan and Rome, where the number of mobile students exceeds 50,000 units.

Openings

The interest shown by operators in Italian student housing remains high, and commitments in this sector are increasing. The Ripamonti project by Aparto will be followed in the coming years by other openings in Florence and Milan, and The Social Hub plans a second opening in Florence, to be followed by further new accommodation facilities in Rome, Bologna and Turin. Camplus has planned new openings in Turin, Florence and Udine, while Beyoo made its official entry into our country at the end of 2022 with an accommodation facility in Bologna, and at the beginning of 2023 with two new locations in Florence. In addition, Collegiate will inaugurate a new campus at Milano Bicocca. Then there is the Italian CampusX, which inaugurated a project in Viale Suzzani in Milan and one in Novate Milanese. It should be emphasized that today the offer of PBSA (purpose-built student accommodation) is characterised by quality, services, and amenities that make it more competitive and attractive compared to traditional student housing. New residences are designed and built according to modern criteria of liveability, sustainability and containment of management costs. All buildings are equipped with gathering spaces such as dining halls, cinemas, libraries and gyms that allow students to spend their free time on-site, socialising while simultaneously containing their expenses.

Alessandra Tesan

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