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The next big thing in Indian Realty – Professionally managed Student Accommodation

Awantika Mohanty • 22/01/2020
  • The report estimates 9.08 million migrant students in India, amounting to over 24% of 37 million total student enrolments in the country’s higher educational institutions (HEIs) for the year 2018-19. It emphasises that the provision of quality accommodation facilities to this large user base is significant.
  • Current installed on-campus accommodation (e.g. hostels) capacity stands at around 6.7 million of which 60% is being utilised indicating large unmet demand. 
  • Around 17.2 Million students are enrolled in HEIs located in urban areas.
  • Nearly one-third of all HEIs are in 20 cities with metropolitan cities accounting for most. These cities with the highest number of HEIs have naturally been attracting higher student enrolments along with a greater proportion of outstation students. This has resulted in a widening gap for unmet student accommodation demand.

Cushman & Wakefield (C&W) in association with the Student Accommodation Providers Forum of India (SAPFI) today released a joint report encapsulating market-driven research and insights on the swiftly evolving Professionally Managed Student Accommodation (PMSA) sector in India. 

The report – titled “Exploring the Student Housing Universe in India City Insights” – focusses on identifying education clusters in the cities of Bengaluru, Delhi-NCR and Pune, the three biggest markets for PMSA operators. The report gauges student accommodation deficits and demand prospects in the three cities and aims to enable PMSA stakeholders identify target student populations. It will help operators approach their growth plans with better clarity on types of accommodation, price sensitivities of the target segment, scale, sizing and amenities to offer, while guiding them to select appropriate locations which could serve as a focal point within the identified clusters. 

Key highlights of the report

  • Delhi-NCR

  • Delhi-NCR with 7.45 lakh student enrolled in HEIs as of 2018-19 has 50% outstation students. There is demand for additional 2.5 lakh beds from PMSA operators 
  • Average cost of private rented apartment versus private room in PMSA is closely comparable but with amenities being the key factor larger demand sways towards PMSA. Maximum available options under both categories range between INR 10,000/month to INR 25,000/month
  • With the existing and upcoming metro connectivity, locations across parts of West and North Delhi and in select areas of East Delhi, Gurugram and Noida hold good potential
  • Bengaluru

  • Highest number of HEIs in India with student enrolments estimated at 5.38 lakh. With 60% outstation students, a healthy number of existing PMSA players, and in-campus hostel facilities, additional demand currently stands at around 92,000 beds.
  • In Bengaluru, average cost of shared PMSA facility is lower compared to a private shared apartment. Private rooms in PMSA facilities are slightly expensive compared to private apartments but amenities and convenience are incremental benefits.
  • Central Bengaluru locations like Basavanagudi, Kalasipalya, Cubbonpete, Malleshwaram, Rajaji Nagar & Yeshwanthpur and locations such as those along Mysore Road till Kengeri in the south western quadrant on account of upcoming mero connectivity hold good potential 
  • Pune

  • Nearly 4 lakh student enrolments and 60% outstation students, additional capacity requirements in PMSA segment is 1.33 lakh beds.
  • PMSA segment offerings in shared formats cost much lower than private shared apartments while being comparable when looking at private rooms. 
  • Old city areas in the Central and West region of Pune have the highest number of HEIs, making the locations in and around Shivaji Nagar, Ganeshwadi, Sadashiv Peth, Swargate, Maharshi Nagar and Kothrud among the most suitable for PMSA facility setups.
  • With the upcoming metro connectivity, locations like Yerwada in North and Katraj, Ambegaon Pathar in South, Bavdhan in the west and Nigdi beyond Pimpri-Chinchwad would hold good potential for PMSA operators

Commenting on the report release, Anshul Jain, Country Head & Managing Director-India, Cushman and Wakefield, said “The significant mass of migrant students in the higher education sector today demand and expect quality student accommodation facilities providing food, security and a range of amenities.  While globally, PMSA has found its footing as part of the mainstream real estate sector, in India it is still in a nascent stage. With policy support and private investments, I believe it has the potential to be the next growth driver in the segment.”

Kaushal Mahan, Convenor, SAPFI, said, “We at SAPFI are excited with the findings of the report and believe that it provides in-depth insights for PMSA operators for their expansion plans across the cities. The sector is expected to witness a huge amount of FDI inflows resulting in job creation and economic development. Thus it requires encouragement from the government for building a favourable policy ecosystem. SAPFI is working closely with the government to promote quality student accommodation solutions to support and enhance India’s education experience.”



Student Accommodation Providers Forum of India (SAPFI) is an organization of student accommodation providers, managers and related service providers. The vision of SAPFI is to empower organizations and businesses engaged in the student accommodation industry; promote value of quality student accommodation solutions to support and enhance India’s education experience. The forum includes leading student rental housing service providers such as Stanza Living, CoHo, Placio, Renaissance Living Spaces, Tribestays, Campus Student Living Community, Good Host Spaces Pvt. Ltd, University Living and Your Space among its core members. It is further supported by leading entities in real estate, legal and public policy domain including Cushman & Wakefield, CBRE, Ikigai Law, Red Bird & Partners, Dentons and Chase India, as Associate Members of the forum.


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