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Student housing set to grow

Rafał Ostrowski 03 April 2019

Rafał Ostrowski


+48 22 356 25 11

Rafał Ostrowski has over 17 years’ experience as a journalist. Before joining ‘Eurobuild CEE’ five years ago, he wrote for Wydawnictwo Murator and Shopping Centre Magazine, as well as for retailnet.pl. He has also written for many newspapers and magazines as a freelancer and prepared photo-reportages. Rafał graduated from the University of Warsaw in philosophy. He also completed postgraduate studies in text editing. For ‘Eurobuild CEE’ he covers most real estate sectors, including logistics, construction, office, residential and retail. He is also in charge of the film direction for Eurobuild TV.

Student housing set to grow
Selected investors in the PBSA sector in Poland

POLAND As many as 10,000 beds are expected to be delivered to the market in new student accommodation across Poland by 2021, which will represent a 150 pct increase in supply over the next three years, says real estate advisory firm Savills.

Currently buildings to house up to 10,000 students are in the pipeline, including three projects in Warsaw and three in Kraków, as well as two in Gdańsk and one in Wrocław. The biggest investors in this sector are BaseCamp and Student Depot. Public higher education institutions are also planning to upgrade their student halls of residence. The University of Warsaw is planning a new student hall on its Służewiec campus, which is expected to be completed in 2021. Proximity to universities is key to the commercial success of purpose built student accommodation [PBSA] projects but, due to the limited supply of land in such places renovation and conversion projects are becoming increasingly common. In Poland, these include an office building on ul. Solec in Warsaw that has been acquired by Zeitgeist AM for conversion.

“Although the number of students in Poland is falling, the outlook for the PBSA sector is very positive. Students want to enjoy the best possible living conditions and can increasingly afford to do so. In addition, many value the privacy of a room with a single bed and an atmosphere of learning and socialising in specifically designed spaces. A rented apartment won’t provide such an experience,” claims Wioleta Wojtczak, the head of research at Savills.

According to Savills data, Poland has nearly 450 state-owned student residences with more than 120,000 beds while there are 35 student facilities with just under 4,000 beds owned by private higher education institutions (HEIs). Private investors with no affiliation to any HEI provide around 6,500 beds. This means that only 15 pct of the 1.3 mln student population in Poland can be housed in student accommodation.

“Given the high occupancy levels in the first PBSA projects delivered to the market in Poland, this sector is likely to see its first big-ticket investment transactions soon,” says Kamil Kowa, board member and director at corporate finance and valuation in Savills.

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