Housing for students has emerged as a new real estate asset class and is estimated currently at more than USD 200 billion globally with large number of Asians opting to study outside their home country, according to a report by global property consultant Jones Lang LaSalle.
"The increasing number of students from Asia choosing to study outside of their home country has played a key role in developing the student housing sector into a global real estate asset class," JLL said in a statement.
The number of students studying outside their home country is expected to rise to 263 million by 2025 against 165 million currently, it said, adding that "globally, the student housing market as a whole is estimated to be worth in excess of USD 200 billion".
JLL said in recent years, Asia has increased its market share as a source market for international students from 48 per cent in 2004 to 52 per cent in 2009.
The top five source markets globally are China, India and South Korea, followed by Germany and France in fourth and fifth. The most popular destinations for these students are the US, the UK, Australia, Germany and France.
"Strong economic growth in the key Asian markets has fuelled higher education enrolments globally. Over the past decade, countries like China, India and Vietnam have experienced rapid growth in the wealthier middle class, which has spurred demand for higher education and better housing options in destination countries," Jones Lang LaSalle Lead Director Student Housing and Higher Education Philip Hillman said.
While ownership of student housing has traditionally been dominated by developer-operators, increasingly, equity funds, sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, investment managers and REITs are entering the market.
Commenting on the report 'Student Housing- a new global asset class', JLL India Chairman and Country Head Anuj Puri said the student housing is one of the most vibrant Indian real estate markets in the foreseeable future.
"Dense student populations that exist around prominent colleges positively affect the demand for residential spaces as well as restaurants and small retail spaces. As such, educational institution lend value to a location," he added.
Puri said the country's top 10-15 corporate schools have plans to develop a total of 800-1000 schools over the next decade, aiming to deliver quality education to far-flung parts of the country.
"The corporate higher education industry is expected to build close to 10 million square feet of educational institution space over the next few years - and this not include the rapid expansion plans that are underway to build new IITs, IIMs, SPAs and other reputed educational institutions. The demand for the right kind of student housing that such a scenario presents can well be imagined," Puri said.