December 5, 2023

An advocacy group for the purpose-built student accommodation sector said the Chinese government’s sudden decision to stop recognizing online education “will put further pressure on an already strained” industry as around 40,000 offshore students are expected to travel to Australia. campuses.

International students have already been returning to the country en masse for the start of the new academic year, but many are struggling to secure affordable housing upon arrival.

“While the largest destination city for international students, Melbourne, still has the capacity to absorb a larger than expected number of Chinese students, cities such as Brisbane and Perth will have full student accommodation buildings when universities return,” said Torie Brown, chief executive. director of the Student Accommodation Board.

Meantime, BONARD analysis found that the average rental cost of purpose-built student accommodation rose by around 8% in Australia last year.

“With Western Australia set to welcome its largest intake of international students since the Covid-19 pandemic, demand for student accommodation is at a peak,” said a spokesperson for Curtin University in Perth. PIE news.

Derryn Belford, CEO of StudyPerth, said that all purpose-built student accommodation in Perth’s central business district is now fully occupied and vacancy rates are “very low” in the private rental market.

“It is very encouraging to see international students returning to Perth, with this year’s commencement numbers looking very positive,” Belford said. “However, like other capital cities in Australia, Perth is experiencing pressure on student accommodation.”

“As previously stated, there are a number of other accommodation options available in Perth for international students. Not all students want to live in commercial accommodation, many stay with family – noting that over 30% of our population was born outside Australia,” he added.

“There is no doubt that the student accommodation market in Perth, like elsewhere, is tight. However, with careful planning and using the support services offered by education providers and StudyPerth, it is possible to find suitable accommodation. It just might take a little longer than before.”

“In cities like Brisbane and Perth, student accommodation will be full”

In South Australia, the University of Adelaide said it had 1,200 students currently studying remotely in China and that it was “working to secure additional accommodation for them to return”.

Last December, the Western Australian Government and StudyPerth they started a campaign encourage homeowners to host international students. The expansion of Edith Cowan University and Curtin University is expected to bring an additional 13,000 students to the city by 2030, likely compounding the housing challenges facing the region.

“This clearly shows that there is an opportunity for savvy local and international investors to tap into Perth’s purpose-built student accommodation market,” Belford said.

Globally, demand for PBSA is outstripping supply and in Australia, new property supply has been “muted”, researchers have warned. Savills has predicted that 4,979 beds will be commissioned in 2023 and supply levels will fall further in 2024, with 1,892 new beds available.

The smaller pipeline is “a consequence of schemes not moving forward during the pandemic due to concerns about demand, as well as feasibility and planning delays,” experts at Savills wrote in a recent report.

Brown said state and federal governments should incentivize developers by “removing barriers such as foreign investor taxes and cumbersome planning processes that slow down the development of new buildings.”

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