The Class of 2020 takes a look at Italy

Our good friends at The Class of 2020, the Student Housing “think tank” that is helping to shape student living, recently shone a spotlight on the potential for Student Housing in Italy.

In their article “Italy – Country Outlook 2018”, they discussed that the country does have a tradition of many students living at home while they study. However, around 50% of the 1.7million students studying still leave home and 95,000 international students attend courses there.

The Class of 2020 conclude that with very low provision of purpose-built Student Housing (around 3% as reported by Savills in 2012), the country deserves to be on investors’ watchlist. Indeed, a number of significant players including Hines, have committed to Italy – an example is Bocconi campus in Milan which the global real estate giant is currently developing.

Florence, Bologna, Venice and Turin have also seen some significant activity recently and it seems the country’s students will soon have much greater choice.

However, there are a number of factors that could limit Italy’s expansion as a major Student Housing market. These include relatively low numbers of English-taught courses, the aforementioned tradition that could limit the numbers of students who leave home to study and a political situation that could cause some raised eyebrows amongst investors.

While Italy’s universities are amongst Europe’s oldest, they don’t tend to feature very highly in the rankings, bar a few gems such as Politecnico di Milano (156th), Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (167th) and the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa (175th).

None of these factors should sound a death-knell for the PBSH sector though, so keep an eye on Italy’s Student Housing sector over the coming months.

Read The Class of 2020’s full article here: