Australia’s student housing will undergo a major overhaul, driven by investors, due to an influx of foreign students.
Blue Sky Private Real Estate has announced a $1 billion investment in partnership with Goldman Sachs for student accommodation across Australia and New Zealand, which would see an increase in the amount of beds available to full-time students.
Head of Blue Sky, Adam Vaggelas, said the partnership would provide quality, well-located and affordable student accommodation.
“Education is Australia’s largest non-resource export industry, worth in excess of $18 billion per annum and growing, Mr Vaggelas said.
“The ability to scale further into this domestic thematic, in part due to the region’s proximity to a rapidly expanding Asian middle class, is a key focus for the partnership.”
Another big player, South African company Redefine, has also jumped into the student accommodation market. The company bought a car park in Carlton, Victoria to redevelop into student accommodation, with an estimated 700 beds.
Flatmates.com CEO Thomas Clement supported the move for more student housing.
“I think there is definitely a need for more affordable accommodation for students,” he said. “We always have two to four times more students seeking affordable accommodation than what is actually available.”
“Most university students looking for places are international or interstate. Of those, we find approximately 40 per cent will live in a shared home, while around 15 per cent live on campus or in purpose built student-only housing.”
The fact that Australian universities are now more world renowned, with five universities in the top 100, has potentially led to the increase in the number of foreign scholars looking to Australian Universities for a higher education.
Junior Karokaro, a manager at Uni Lodge on Sydney’s Kensington Street, said student accommodation was in high demand, as evidenced by the fact they were full within a year of opening. “We have a number of people that have been turned down due to the occupancy,” Mr Karokaro told The Newsroom. “We are currently full with a variety of students.” – Peter Moon
Developer: "This is not intended to be student housing."
Project engineer 10 min. later: "for this student housing building…"#a2planning
— Julie Weatherbee (@juliewbee) April 6, 2016
I highkey want to pen a letter to the mayor urging the creation of a taskforce on student housing.
— Syed Ejaz (@Syed_Ejaz_) April 5, 2016
Photo of student housing Rowe House from the University of Exeter’s Flickr photostream.