France Regional Session May 11th, 2017 Hosted by Gecina and Savills France's student living market is mature however still heavily regulated and, for international students, [...]
France Regional Session
May 11th, 2017
Hosted by Gecina and Savills
France's student living market is mature however still heavily regulated and, for international students, often difficult to enter due to language constraints. The main call to action at our Regional Session was the urgency to create an ecosystem of investors, developers, and operators, together with universities and cities. Only with such setting in place, we will be able to cater to the students housing needs of both domestic and International talent.
In a competitive global economy, the bigger picture on student living is the attraction and retention of young talent. Together with mega trends as demography, technology, and globalisation, human capital shapes the global real estate markets. With the new administration of president Macron, France seems to be on an interesting tipping point in taking away the barriers that international talent still faces. This positive political sentiment can definitely be seen as an encouragement for university-city strategies.
France remains very attractive to international students, and that is true outside of Paris as well. Other university cities in the country attract increasing amounts of international students, especially from French speaking countries in Africa. Demographically speaking, the average annual growth of population in the age 20-24 in cities such as Nice, Strassbourg and Bordaux also shows that the domestic market is growing.
The French housing market remains tightly regulated, making it challenging for new providers to enter the market. For international students, it is often not easy to find fitting housing solutions, with language often the biggest barrier. Suppliers as Studapart try to fill this void by offering complete online applications where students can book their housing at different providers, without leaving the university’s website.
From an operator perspective the French market is very mature. When looking at transactions by foreign investors, we see that developments of a bigger scale are still uncommon. Perhaps, the new scheme of Harrison Street with approx. 10.000 beds at the University of Paris-Saclay Campus can be seen as a pioneer in developments of this scale. Operators in France are increasingly focusing on concepts such as community living. They are moving away from the sole purpose of renting out beds into the direction of co-living and co-working, with more services that cater to the desires of today’s students.
Our main take-away as The Class of 2020 is the massive opportunity for investors, developers and operators to work more closely with universities and cities. A clear distinction between public and private universities is present, however public-private partnerships on new urban developments can boost the student experience of these young, bright minds.
All Day (Tuesday)
6 Rue des Capucines, 75002 Paris, France