Spike in the number of international students creates more opportunities for investors and developers
According to CBRE’s Global Living report, Melbourne and Sydney were ranked third and sixth, respectively, in the list of cities for the most international students, and that international students, especially those from the Asia-Pacific region, are becoming more mobile.
These two facts combined mean that investors and developers are well positioned to provide accommodation for this demographic, with the potential for higher yields.
Rosie Young, director at CBRE Hotels/Student Accommodation, said that student accommodation is rising in popularity among investors.
In CBRE’s recent Global Investor Intentions survey, 9 per cent of investors identified student accommodation as the most attractive alternative real estate sector, up from 4 per cent the previous year. This represented the biggest increase after data centres, she said.
Developers have also seen rising interest in the student accommodation sector, with a current pipeline of approximately 18,000 beds in 51 projects over the course of 2019 to 2023. Of this pipeline, the majority are in Melbourne, making up 44 per cent, followed by Perth at 15 per cent, Brisbane at 12 per cent, and then Sydney at just 5 per cent.
The rise in international student numbers is growing across the world, rising by more than two and a half times over the last 20 years.
The mobility of international students is also rising, with the number of students enrolled in higher education outside of their country of citizenship rising by almost six times. UNESCO figures stated that there are over 5 million international students globally.
The Asia-Pacific region is home to the highest number of international students, with the most amount of travelling students coming from China. Looking at data between 2014 and 2015, international students from China and India rose by 43,000 and 52,000, respectively.
The reasons why international students travel for their education is due to learning or improving their English, along with cost of living and lifestyle, quality of education and the potential for post-graduate job opportunities.