International property consultancy and estate agency Knight Frank has revealed that it has strengthened its Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) business in order to offer ‘a fully serviced global platform’.
The company has launched a dedicated ‘Student Property service line’, concentrating on Europe, the Middle East and Africa (MENA), Asia Pacific and America as key investment hubs.
By creating the new student property platform, Knight Frank has upped its exposure to this specialist sector following continued investor appetite and a rise in global wealth looking to enter the market.
The new platform will aim to span valuations, agency, development consultancy and research, in turn offering developers and investors a ‘one-stop shop’ for PBSA and a global perspective on the sector.
What’s more, Knight Frank’s latest proposition aims to instruct investors on diversifying their property portfolios and successfully moving capital, in addition to ‘driving the delivery and development of global PBSA stock’.
The new platform will be headed up by James Pullan and will look to take advantage of the rising momentum and recognition around the world of PBSA, which is increasingly being seen as a robust high-performing asset class in its own right.
The four key hubs will each be managed by experts with experience in those areas, with Emily Fell (based in Singapore) responsible for the Asia Pacific region, Joseph Morris (based in Dubai) overseeing MENA and Ryan Lang (based in Texas) leading the American team.
In the last year Knight Frank has dramatically upped its activity in the PBSA sector, procuring the Regent Portfolio for £869m and transacting more than $4.2bn worth of PBSA stock around the world.
“Purpose Built Student Accommodation has become a globalised asset class,” James Pullan, head of student property at Knight Frank, said.
“International investors recognise the story of a growing cohort of international students choosing higher education abroad. The sector is seen by investors as aligned with the highly stable higher education sector but underpinned by the structural under supply of accommodation.”