Investment in blended living set to soar, thinktank says

Purpose-built student accommodation, co-living and hybrid models are expected to become more popular as cities become more densely populated

Investment in student ‘blending living’ is set to soar in the next five years, a thinktank has said.

Analysis of investment and portfolio ambitions had led The Class of 2020 to predict that €25bn – or just over £21bn – will be spent globally on the residential sector by 2025.

‘Blended living’ – which includes purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA), co-living and hybrid co-living/co-working models – is being driven by the housing crisis and demographic change, thinktank exports reported.

The Class of 2020 foundation is a non-profit thinktank that researches living, working and learning in university cities.

Using publicly available data from portfolio plans, UK-based Collegiate topped the thinktank’s list of student accommodation investors. Netherlands-based hybrid hospitality operator The Student Hotel and US student residential specialist Greystar came second and third respectively.

Future housing models need to be supported by both the public and private sectors – Ryan Manton, Class of 2020

Yoony Kim, managing director of The Class of 2020, said: “Blended living offers a rapidly expanding investment opportunity and is emerging as a possible solution in urban living for young people shut out of traditional home ownership and rental markets by sky-high prices and rents.

“The segment provides cities with ways to address their growing housing crisis and a way to attract and retain talent.”

Ryan Manton, Class of 2020’s programme director, said: “Future housing models need to be supported by both the public and private sectors. Stakeholders of all types need to come together to innovate, providing affordable and flexible options, which respond to the changing needs of cities.”

Paloma Lisboa, director of operations at Kings College London, suggested, “universities need to adapt and be instigators of change in helping to provide high quality housing options for students with their well-being and sustainability at the centre of discussions – it’s an opportunity to contribute to urban regeneration”.

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