New Delhi: Student hosuing operators feel the need to increase the room sizes to suit the safety requirements as COVID-19 has increased the importance of social distancing, according to a survey by international property consultant CBRE.
According to survey, 63 % operators are expecting a major shift towards professionally managed facilities.
The survey was jointly conducted by Student Accommodation Providers Association of India (SAPFI) and CBRE during June and July 2020 and included operators from the Professionally Managed Student Accommodation (PMSA) and co-living segments.
The findings also highlight that the product mix and offerings by operators will witness a shift towards single and double occupancy rooms given the need and consumer preference for social distancing.
A higher value will be attached to cleanliness and hygiene standards of these new asset classes or professionally managed student accommodation and co-living facilities. Additionally, over 50% of the operators responded that they will be looking at expanding the bed capacity in their facilities.
“Professionally managed shared accommodations are considered to be globally established asset classes in the real estate industry and developers are increasingly viewing co-living/student housing as a natural extension of their businesses. The Covid-19 global pandemic has clearly brought forward the need for quality student accommodation facilities across the country,” Anshuman Magazine, Chairman and CEO, India, South East Asia, Middle East and Africa, CBRE.
The survey highlights increased focus from colleges to assess health and hygiene standards of shared accommodation spaces. It said that there will be an increased focus on facility management services and there might be an increased cost for sanitization procedures and for providing add on services like room services.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has severely impacted the booming shared accommodation industry including student housing and co-living. But with the changing consumer preference, the industry will soon be turning the present crisis into an opportunity and contributing to the government vision on “Getting Growth Back”,” said Kaushal Mahan, Convener, SAPFI.
The survey says that travel restrictions across countries will provide an opportunity for Indian universities to attract top tier student demand. Measure taken by shared accommodation providers include provision of sanitizers at all entrance points, restricted access to common amenities area, staggered timings for utilizing common amenities, allowing only one person per room and encouraging the use of staircases over elevators among others.
89 % of survey participants feel the need for classifying co-living/professionally managed student accommodation as a separate asset class by the government while 53 % of the respondents highlight lack of clarity on regulatory norms while 37% have mentioned GST tax structure related concerns as main issues which require direction from Government.