World Student Housing

World Student Housing
Student mobility reinforces need for quality

4 October 2017, by Savills World Research

As the market matures students have come to demand higher quality from their living accommodation


At the national level, provision of PBSA remains very low, even in mature markets (see Fig.13). Cultural trends, such as prevalence for students to live at home during study (particularly in Italy and Spain, for example), a preference for a certain type of accommodation (such as a desire for individual apartments and studios in Germany) impacts the nature of these markets.

The optimum ratio for accommodation varies not only by country, but by town or city. Many universities supply their own accommodation, but lack the funds or expertise to bring to modern standards. This opens up opportunities for JVs and partnering arrangements with private sector operators. In some markets private and residential local landlords meet the gap in supply.

Growing global student mobility has reinforced the need for quality, well managed student accommodation. Unfamiliarity with the local housing markets makes quality PBSA from a trusted provider particularly appealing. As the market has matured, students have come to demand more from their accommodation, and will pay a premium for amenities and services on site.


PBSA provision at a national level remains low

Figure 13

Source: Savills World Research | Beds / total enrolled students (full time and part time)

Who are the global providers?

As the sector has matured, global players have emerged that provide and manage PBSA in multiple countries.

This brings international expertise into new markets, portfolio diversification and operator economies of scale.



Source: Savills World Research

How is PBSA viewed by local authorities around the world?

The treatment of PBSA in local planning and regulation varies significantly around the world. As an emerging asset class it has not seen the same level and type of regulations, so policies around it are very varied and still developing.

Here are some examples of different approaches in Europe:



Subscribe to Savills research


Would you like to be notified via email about new property research?

Key Contacts

Paul Tostevin

Paul Tostevin

Associate Director
World Research

Margaret Street

+44 (0) 20 7016 3883


Marcus Roberts MRICS

Marcus Roberts MRICS

Director - Europe
Residential Capital Markets

Margaret Street

+44 (0) 20 7016 3799