Post-pandemic demand peak likely in resilient PBSA sector

The coronavirus pandemic and the measures adopted to tackle it have hit students hard with many universities going online. Everybody involved in the higher education system was affected according to student accommodation and microliving specialist International Campus’s executive chairman Rainer Nonnengässer.

However, he says the sector has proven to be “pretty resilient”. The structure of rental contracts meant tenancy requirements were met and a lot of students chose to stay in their PBSA quarters instead of returning home.

“Now we are actively preparing for the sector, or the universities, to go back to offline or at least hybrid in autumn this year,” said Nonnengässer in conversation with Richard Betts of Real Asset Insight.

Such is International Campus’s confidence in the sector that earlier this year it announced plans to invest €1 billion in new projects over the next 24 months. “We still see a strong pipeline and we see very good prospects that we will meet our acquisition targets,” he said.

Nonnengässer added that international traffic of students always peaks after a crisis because people invest in their education then and the countries in which International Campus is present has seen an influx from  southern Europe. “Taking these factors into consideration, we strongly believe that once we arrive at a new normal, however that will look, Germany and the Netherlands will see strong international growth in student populations.”

Click on the video above to watch the full interview or listen to the podcast below.