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Investing in student accomodationAs long as there are universities, there will be a need for student accommodation, says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa. He says that privately owned off-campus student housing is always in demand, so investors looking for a rental property with a constant influx of tenants will find them near institutions for higher learning.
"Sectional-title units that are located in secure complexes within proximity to a university campus as well as other amenities are particularly sought-after among students across the country. For many South African students and their parents, the idea of living within walking distance of their university and having the safety aspect of staying in a secure complex is appealing," says Goslett.
In many cases universities will list off-campus accommodation on free property listings that are handed out to their students who cannot be accommodated on the premises. "Some tertiary institutions can have 40-page waiting lists of students needing housing, and as such, there is always a strong demand for rental units within the area," says Goslett.
From an investment perspective, Goslett says that units within a secure complex generally show a healthy return on investment over the long term. He also notes that buying a property that appeals to a broader spectrum of buyers, such as young singles and couples and not just students will not restrict the property in terms of capital growth. Investing in property with restricted usage that only appeals to one demographic can eliminate many potential buyers at a later stage, should the investor decide to sell.
Goslett advises property investors who want to purchase student accommodation to consider the following:
"As with any property purchase decision, it is important for investors to do their research. Buying the right kind of property and having a management strategy in place can make purchasing a student housing property a viable income-generating investment," Goslett concludes.