While global investment was down 2% in 2018 compared to the previous year, investment volumes are still 425% above their level a decade ago, the research shows.
“Milan, Vienna and Paris remain on top among the least supplied cities on the continent”
The year was particularly fruitful for the sector in the US, with the country reaching an all-time high with $10.8bn invested in student accommodation.
This result was driven by some “exceptionally large” deals, the research explains, including Greystar’s acquisition of EdR.
In other markets, 2018 was not as prosperous. In the UK and Western Europe, investments were down 33% and 38% respectively as fewer portfolios came to market.
Provisional data for the first quarter of 2019 shows a further $2.4bn invested in the sector globally.
Although overall transaction numbers may have been slightly lower last year, this is not the sign of a trend, Bonard head of marketing Stefan Kolibar told The PIE.
“It rather mirrors the recent status of the market – it is in front of consolidation, many deals and acquisitions are shaping up, there are 380 new projects coming to the market, worth circa €15bn,” he said.
Bonard, which provided data on the European market for Savills’ Spotlight: Global Living report (published in October 2018), tracked growing interest in southern Europe and in some cities.
“In Europe, we see a lot of interest in the south, countries such as Spain, Italy, France, but also in the CEE region,” Kolibar said.
“In terms of cities, Milan, Vienna and Paris remain on top among the least supplied cities on the continent.”
As for Australia, the market is going through the first wave of consolidation now, Kolibar explained.
“This is attracting not only domestic investors and established brands but also those based in Asia, Europe or the US,” he said.