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Purpose Built Student Accommodation in Portugal 2023

Ana Gomes • 21/08/2023

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PBSA is a thriving asset class in Portugal! The first modern scheme opened only 6 years ago; these days the main projects in the top cities are packed, many are fully booked for the first semester before the academic year begins, rents keep rising and so do waiting lists.

With a growing number of international students and a very challenging residential market, the (still small) student accommodation and co-living market in Portugal has consistently exceeded expectations. We had a good feeling about this market back in 2017, when it all started. But it was hard to anticipate that growth would be this steady and this strong. We can safely say that the only way is up!

We issued our first paper on the PBSA market in Portugal exactly a year ago. Back then, market evidence already suggested the growing difficulty in finding alternative residential accommodation in Portugal’s two main cities – Lisbon and Porto. Over the last 12 months, this problem has grown with more and more families renting flats that were previously shared by students. There is also virtually no accommodation for corporate rentals - executives and young professionals. New supply for the mid-market housing segment is shrinking, causing a massive strain for anyone in need of alternative accommodation. But, above all, it is causing an abrupt demand for PBSA that we anticipate will be sustained for years to come.

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