MIPIM European student housing comes of age: JLL

Against the backdrop of increasing institutional investor appetite for higher education accommodation assets in European markets outside the UK, JLL has launched its 2017 European student housing report at Mipim.

The report highlights the key trends investors should look out for and identifies six European markets in which the sector is poised for sustained and significant growth: France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain.

Philip Hillman, chairman of alternatives for EMEA at JLL, said: 'It is an exciting time for investors in student housing across Europe. In the UK, the student housing sector is maturing and is now recognised as an asset class in its own right. Investors are now looking towards continental Europe for stronger returns. The six markets we’ve highlighted are emerging on the scene but they’re also highly liquid and benefit from the same key underlying fundamentals as the more mature UK market. Europe offers a mosaic of opportunities with markets at different stages of evolution and developing at different speeds, giving investors a range of options to consider.'

Pierre-Paul Verelst, head of BeLux research at JLL, added: 'The student housing market in Belgium has substantially changed over the last 5 years and has become much more professionalised with specialised funds like Xior (listed on the Euronext Stock Exchange) and Quares Student Fund. Insurance companies and B-REITs have also shown interest in this alternative asset class and have made selective transactions. This professionalisation is related to higher requirements from students. There was a quality mismatch between the existing supply from universities and demand. The structural undersupply of student housing in Belgium is progressively reabsorbed by new projects in the main cities, resulting in a more balanced market in the near-term.'

JLL's full European 2017 student housing report was launched at Mipim on Tuesday in association with the Class of 2020.