University Residences
18 September 2020
University residences with positive outlook, despite Covid-19
The academic year 2020/21, which begins in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, will present many challenges, but the expectation is positive for university residence operators. The three main companies operating in this market - U.hub/Xior, Livensa Living, and Milestone - say they believe they will achieve good occupancy rates, especially with national students, thus showing confidence that this is a market segment that remains high and desirable for investment in Portugal.

"Despite this challenging environment for operators, we remain optimistic regarding occupancy rates, since the Xior Campus Asprela residence has been positioned to cover different market segments, offering individual rooms with bathrooms that fit the purchasing power of many Portuguese parents, ”says Hugo Gonçalves Pereira, U.hub administrator.

The unit is part of a batch of homes purchased at the end of 2019 by the Belgian operator Xior from developer U.hub Investments, linked to asset manager Atrium, having started operating this month after the building was completed during the months of confinement.

"The demand for accommodation by premium students remains strong, but there are some restrictions due to the international situation”, reveals Gary Clarke, CEO of Milestone, clarifying that due to travel restrictions, foreign students from some countries, who had a strong presence in Portugal (for example, Brazil), are arriving in fewer numbers than before. Note that also Portuguese students are, this year, waiting considerably longer to make their decision - partly due to the delay in enrollment and in the entrance exams.

However, the official says that at the company they are convinced that "students do not want to be left out of their student journey", stressing that "our reservation numbers confirm this assumption until now".

Livensa Living residences "were also open throughout the year, in line with our principles of guaranteeing the safety and well-being of residents", begins by indicating the head of Temprano Capital Partners - a promoter who in January this year made a ' joint venture 'with Canadian fund Brookfield Asset Management, to create 19 student residences in Portugal and Spain. He later says that "we had to adapt our operation and some of our services to meet the new government guidelines and promote student safety”.

By offering large study rooms with offices for video conferencing and high-performance internet, the operators of private university residences defend that they position themselves as an ideal partner so that teaching activities can continue smoothly, in this new teaching model that will require that students have the necessary conditions in their accommodation.
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