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Student housing crisis brings massive investment opportunities across SA

The Dart Motors property in Woodstock that will be converted to student accomodation. Photo supplied.

The Dart Motors property in Woodstock that will be converted to student accomodation. Photo supplied.

Published May 10, 2022

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Cape Town - As students return to face-to-face classes after the end of the State of Disaster, the need for student housing is growing as many tertiary institutions cannot cope with the influx of students.

Student housing poses one of the biggest stumbling blocks to expanding access to tertiary education in South Africa. The current supply-demand gap stands at 500 000 beds, with that figure expected to grow to 780 000 beds in the space of just two and a half years.

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South Africa has an ever-increasing demographic of under 25s who want to study further, and the housing shortage only further compounds the fact that many do not get the opportunity they hope for.

Joff Van Reenen, a founding partner of High Street Auctions, says there has never been a greater demand for student housing, making this a perfect time for investors.

“There was a huge demand for student housing before the pandemic, but the end of the State of Disaster has exacerbated an issue that has been over two years in the making. With 26 universities and 50 recognised colleges in South Africa, the demand far outweighs the supply,” said Van Reenen.

Student housing is emerging as the most exciting investment opportunity on offer in Johannesburg, Durban and Nelspruit, while exciting development opportunities in Cape Town and Pretoria will also be auctioned.

In Cape Town, the Dart Motors corner on Sir Lowry Road just below District Six in Woodstock has been picked for auction on May 19.

Cape Peninsula University of Technology has been earmarked as the university that will receive the accommodation.

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Van Reenen expects the auction to be a lively one as investors, financial institutions and Real Estate Investment Trusts will want to capitalise on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

The auction will be available to watch via High Street’s live stream and across all social media platforms.

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