The Studivest team have had a busy Spring. Our airmiles account is overflowing after trips to London, Vienna, Hamburg, Berlin and Prague. But what a great start to 2018 it’s been!
We have attended three amazing Student Housing conferences:
- The Class of 2020 in Hamburg
- The LD Events Student Housing Conference in London
- The CEE Property Forum Prague
All the presentations were really interesting, and we are grateful to each presenter for sharing their ideas and views – it’s not often you get the chance to hear so much Thought Leadership in one room!
We also met up with old and new friends and came away energised and even more motivated to keep spreading our message of the enduring appeal of Student Housing particularly when our focus region, the CEE, is now gaining the attention it deserves.
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When asked “Would you invest in Student Housing in the CEE in in the next five years?”; the majority of respondents in Prague, confirmed they definitely or most likely would.
- Poland, Prague, Budapest are likely key targets with Poland’s scale as a Higher Education economy putting it in first place as a choice of a large number of panellists.
- Residents of existing accommodations are demanding better in-house communities, better relations with local communities and are very much looking for their time at university (including where they live) to be a “true, life experience”.
- Buying scale is clearly the first choice of investors, so portfolios of properties is a must when Institutions get out their cheque books – a key element when planning an exit strategy.
- Affordability is becoming a key issue as costs in other parts of the World are rising; both tuition and accommodation costs are of concern to many students. Student debt is reaching worrying proportions in many countries, such as the US and the UK.
Proptech can only be overlooked at your peril – operating efficiencies are a key element of any housing provider’s business plan and using technology within the fabric of a building (e.g. energy efficiency), can make or break a P&L account.
- Generally, other factors in the real estate market will come in to play. For example, the way society spends time at work will change – it’s expected that less time will be spent in offices, leading demand for office space downwards and the hunt for reliable yield in other directions.
Student Housing is ready and waiting to be the yield target that could make up the shortfalls that other sectors will experience as their demand levels change and quite possibly decline.
What better way to plan ahead than to invest in new, emerging markets that can use tried-and-tested business models, in an environment where affordability, “green” building design and growing demand amongst domestic and foreign students come together to make a compelling investment opportunity for years to come.
There is no shortage of new ideas, trends and opportunities that our sector is seeing – growing demand on a global basis requires that we use these ideas to face the challenges ahead.
Thank you to all our friends, old and new, and all our colleagues in the Student Housing sector we have the privilege to work with and have met over the past few months. We are very excited about the coming months, as we work together to make all these new ideas take shape.