As much as $90 million of PE capital has flowed into the Indian student housing sector in the last three years with Pune, Bengaluru and Delhi-NCR leading the segment, according to a report by Anarock.
As many as 13 prominent student housing brands now have 1.5 lakh beds across India, the report said.
The report highlighted that new student housing opportunities are emerging in cities such as Kota, Pilani, Indore, Nagpur and Mesra. These smaller cities provide more lucrative opportunities to student housing investors due to low land costs and scope for expansion and experiment.
In the recent Budget, the Finance Minister allocated Rs 99,300 crore towards the education sector and Rs 3,000 crore for skill development. To boost the 'Study in India' initiative declared in the previous Budget, an Ind-SAT program is proposed to be held in Asian and African countries to attract overseas students to Indian universities.
The government hopes to attract 200,000 international students to India - more than four times the current number. Currently, the total number of foreign students enrolled in India is 47,427 from 164 different countries. This number has risen by 36% since 2012-13 when the number of international students in India was a little over 34,770, said Anuj Puri, Chairman – ANAROCK Property Consultants.
Pune, a major IT hub and emerging Smart City, is home to almost 3 lakh students. Anticipating the growing demand in this segment, Kohinoor Group has invested Rs 100 crore in the student housing franchise Youthville. The company started with a 150-bed facility in Pune and aims to have 40,000 beds by 2021.
Another local player, The Tribe, has set up a 194-bed facility in Viman Nagar in Pune offering purpose-built facilities at 6-month and 12-month packages to match university schedules. Other players active in the market include Stanza Living, Your Space and Oxfordcaps.
In Bengaluru, there are over 10,000 overseas students. Sensing potential in the city’s student housing sector, Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs has acquired a 75 percent stake in Yoho for Rs 350 crore, helping the company to expand its footprint and add another 20,000 rooms. National players like Stanza Living are also betting big on Bengaluru and have plans to provide 5,000 beds to cater to the city's growing population. The average rate per bed is Rs 10,000 to Rs 35,000 per month.
Operators such as Stanza Living and Your Space have been active in the Delhi-NCR market. Placio and CoHo Singapore-headquartered Oxfordcaps is prominently present in NCR. The average rate per bed is in the range of Rs 8,000 to Rs 20,000 per month.