Portugal is an attractive destination for international students due to its outstanding climate, proximity to the coast and average of more than 300 sunny days per year.
The country also has a very high level of English proficiency, ranking 7th in the EF EPI. This helps the integration of foreign students and also helps attract a wider range of nationalities. Furthermore, Portuguese universities offer an extensive range of courses in English, together with a large list of partner universities abroad, under programs such as Erasmus or exchange.
Currently Portugal has a total of 411,995 students, 14% of which are international, a percentage that has been increasing throughout the years.
Portugal is also ranked 4th in 2021’s Global Peace Index, offering both stability and a high living standards, especially for the younger population.
STUDENT HOUSING MARKET IN PORTUGAL
As several of Portugal’s private and public universities achieve higher and higher international rankings, the number of foreign students coming to complete their university studies in Portugal has been dramatically increasing.
From the academic year 2015-2016 to 2020-2021, there was an increase of 55.5% in international students in Portuguese universities, creating an abrupt increase in demand for student housing accommodation throughout the country.
With the covid-19 pandemic, students’ new needs have been shaping the market considerations. The main points of change have been the following:
• Increase in the demand for larger rooms
• Double rooms being converted into single rooms
• Increased safety measures and display changes in common space, considering people’s movements and flows
• Personal instead of shared bathrooms
• High speed internet to enable online learning
In the Lisbon and Porto markets, there are more than 120 student residences in operation, totalling approximately 10,000 beds, with the highest percentage (47%) being student residences belonging to public Universities.
The supply of student accommodation placed on the market by private operators totals 5,100 beds, by operators such as Milestone, Smart Studios, Livensa Living, LIV Student, Xior and CRM.
Between 2020 and 2021, at least 10 new student residences opened. Out of these, the largest ones are: Livensa Living Porto Campus from Temprano Capital Partners with 724 beds, Livensa Living Cidade Universitária with 595 beds and U.Hub Campus Asprela with 456 beds promoted by Xior.
In the next few years, more than 4,278 beds are planned for Lisbon and more than 3,609 beds for the Porto market, all coming from private operators.
Smart Studios will be responsible for more than 1,200 beds until 2024. Xior with a residence in Lumiar will provide nearly 500 beds and The Student Hotel at Nova SBE Campus in Carcavelos will have 435 beds.
In the Porto market, it is expected that the opening of LIV Student’s The Street consisting of 856 beds, Big City with 241 beds and Odalys’ Granjo with 211 beds, will lead to an increased supply pipeline.
The full report by Savills in Feb 2022 can be seen at: student-housing-portugal-2022.pdf (savills.co.uk)
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