Facility E Connect

63% Operators Expect a Major Shift towards Professionally Managed Shared Accommodation Facilities: CBRE- SAPFI Survey

Student Accommodation Providers Association of India (SAPFI) and CBRE South Asia Pvt. Ltd., India’s leading real estate consulting firm- today released the findings of its survey on Shared Accommodation – one of the growing segments of the real estate sector in the country. According to the survey titled “Re-starting the Engine - Wayforward for the Shared Accommodation Segment”, 63% operators are expecting a major shift towards professionally managed facilities.


CBRE Highlights:

  • Professionally managed student accommodation and co-living facilities to emerge as the preferred choice for tenants as higher value will be attached to cleanliness and hygiene going forward.
  • 72% operators expect business to return to its normalcy within a period of less than of 6 months.
  • Over 50% of the operators will be looking at expanding bed capacity.
  • Operators will witness a shift towards single and double occupancy rooms.
  • Revenue share with the developer/landowner will be the most preferred operating model.
  • 89 percent of survey participants feel the need for classifying professionally managed student accommodation & co-living segments as a separate asset class by the government.

The findings further highlight that the product mix and offerings by operators will witness a shift towards single and double occupancy rooms given the need and consumer preference for social distancing. A higher value will be attached to cleanliness and hygiene standards of these new asset classes or professionally managed student accommodation and co-living facilities. Additionally, over 50% of the operators responded that they will be looking at expanding the bed capacity in their facilities.

The Survey was jointly conducted by SAPFI and CBRE during the month of June and July 2020 and included operators from the Professionally Managed Student Accommodation (PMSA) and co-living segments.

Commenting on the survey findings, Anshuman Magazine, Chairman and CEO, India, South East Asia, Middle East and Africa, CBRE said “Professionally managed shared accommodations are considered to be globally established asset classes in the real estate industry and developers are increasingly viewing co-living/student housing as a natural extension of their businesses. The Covid-19 global pandemic has clearly brought forward the need for quality student accommodation facilities across the country. Besides, going forward health and wellness will be the major focus among developers, and they will be putting a lot of emphasis on integrated developments as well.”

Kaushal Mahan, Convener, SAPFI commented “The Covid-19 pandemic has severely impacted the booming shared accommodation industry including student housing and co-living. But with the changing consumer preference, the industry will soon be turning the present crisis into an opportunity and contributing to the government vision on “Getting Growth Back”. To ensure this growth, we will closely be continuing to work with the Center and State Governments for further bringing favourable policy and regulatory ecosystem for our members”.

On the survey findings, Rami Kaushal, Managing Director, Consulting & Valuation Services, CBRE, said “India has seen remarkable progress in the education sector and student enrolment from across the world. The safety of tenants has always been the top-most priority for operators. The industry is also relooking at the design aspects of upcoming properties in order to suit the needs for safety and to ensure that social distancing norms are being met. Moving ahead, revenue sharing model is expected to become the preferred business model as it helps mitigate the risk between operators and developer/landowners.”

Future Outlook:

  • Operators are re-looking at the design aspects of their upcoming properties. Most of the operators feel the need to increase the room sizes to suit the safety requirements.
  • Increased focus from colleges to assess health and hygiene standards of shared accommodation spaces.
  • There will be an increased focus on Facility Management services and there might be an increased cost for sanitization procedures and for providing add on services like room service, etc.
  • Travel restrictions across countries will provide an opportunity for Indian universities to attract top tier student demand.
  • Tie-ups with top Tier Universities for operators to ensure stable occupancy levels and revenues.
  • Revenue share with the developer/landowner will be the most preferred operating model.
  • Increased preference towards developing purpose-built facilities over converting/modifying existing properties.

Measures taken by the Occupiers during the Covid-19 pandemic:

  • Provision of sanitizers at all entrance points.
  • Limited/restricted access to common amenities area.
  • Staggered timings for utilizing common amenities.
  • Allowing only one person per room.
  • Deliver food to the individual’s room.
  • Encouraging the use of staircases over elevators.
  • Restricted visitor entry within the facilities.
  • Temperature and symptom check at the entrance point of the building.
  • Encouraging students to download the Aarogya Setu app.
  • Operators offering relief in monthly rental payments.

Support Required from Government

  • 89 percent of survey participants feel the need for classifying co-living/professionally managed student accommodation as a separate asset class by the government
  • 53 percent of the respondents highlight lack of clarity on regulatory norms while 37% have mentioned GST tax structure related concerns as main issues which require direction from Government



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