UK Student Housing

UK Student Housing
Global investment flows

10 May 2017, by Paul Tostevin

The Far East leads the way in UK student investment


Last year we saw UK student housing continue its evolution into a global investment market. The proportion of international investment flowing into the market has almost doubled in the last two years. Foreign investment grew from 35% of transactions in 2014 to 64% in 2016.

There was a huge increase in Singaporean investment in 2016, up to almost £1.2 billion from just £35 million the year before. Almost two thirds of this came from just one investor: a JV between Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC and GSA, who acquired over 7,000 beds.

Another Singaporean fund, Mapletree, also invested heavily in UK student last year. They acquired over 6,000 beds. We expect to see continued high transaction volumes from this part of the globe. North America was the second largest source of capital into UK student housing in 2016, investing over £1.3 billion. The vast majority of that came from two Canadian investors: Brookfield SRE and CPPIB.

The effect of the EU referendum has been mixed. Although the decision to leave the EU may affect universities’ ability to secure valuable overseas students, the falling value of sterling makes the UK more attractive to international investors and students. We saw over £2.1 billion transacted after the referendum compared to £1.9 billion in the earlier part of the year.


Global Investment into UK Student Housing

Figure 5

Source: Savills Research


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