Europe’s most under-supplied cities
The provision of PBSA across Europe at the national level remains low. It is highest in the UK where 27% of all students can be accommodated, and lowest in southern Europe. In Italy, Europe’s fourth-largest student market, the national provision rate is less than 5%.
The national picture tells only part of the story. Analysing data from StudentMarketing, an independent research company focused on student housing asset class, we have identified some of Europe’s most undersupplied cities. Provision is lowest in Rome, a city with a student population of 220,500, but only 6,500 student beds (a provision rate of 3%). This is followed by Porto, where only 3.5% of the total student population has dedicated bed spaces.
Florence would appear to offer the best immediate prospects for delivering new supply, however, with a provision rate of 3.8%, high average PBSA single en-suite rents (€970 per month) and a student population of 62,400, of whom 23% are international. Investors should proceed with caution, with limited comparable product, high rents reflect the emerging nature of PBSA in Italian cities, a market not yet fully tested.
Spanish cities are also characterised be extremely low levels of supply set against high rents. Provision in Barcelona is just under 5%, Madrid stands at 5.7%. Vienna’s is another stand-out. A large student city with 186,000 students, 28% of its students are international, suggesting a solid demand base. PBSA provision stands at 10.3%.