PBSA is designed to address the enhanced student needs and is usually located next to Higher Educational Institutions or either public transports. They differ from regular student dormitories by offering individual high standard furnished units characterized by flexible lease agreements and shared amenities. These amenities are specifically tailored for students and they can include laundry rooms, studying areas, fitness centers, swimming pools, sport courts, gaming spaces. Sometimes PBSAs also include commercial facilities such as convenient stores, bars and restaurants. Generally tenants have an all-inclusive bill, that comprise the rent, the utilities and all the additional services provided.
The property is managed by operators that are taking care of the student’s well-being and comfort, while organising activities, conferences and events for community building purposes. Community is the central element of PBSA to the extent that is what determines its success. Students are often studying outside of their hometown and being away from their families and friends often brings to loneliness issues. Living within a warm and inclusive community fosters individual happiness and represents an extremely attractive opportunity for the new generation of students. Moreover, the PBSA model is contributing to the creation of Smart Urban Hubs, advanced urban environments driven by an optimisation approach. Smart Cities connect governments, society, technology and innovation to develop better environments and improve the quality of life of local communities. This process is accelerated by young talents and the attraction of students which, next to professionals, are essentially “the fuel” of the city (and of its innovation). The current available supply of PBSA is far from being sufficient. Students, but in general every segment, are being affected by an undeniable affordable housing shortage. The demand is so strong that in their 2019 Student Housing Report Bonard indicated student housing as the #1 alternative asset class for investors looking at this year.