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Asians fuel US$200 billion int'l student housing investment

SINGAPORE -- Millions of young Asians studying in developed countries have fueled a US$200 billion global market in student housing, an international property group said Thursday.

More than half of the estimated 165 million students currently enrolled overseas come from Asia, with China, India and South Korea the top sources, Jones Lang LaSalle said in a press statement issued in Singapore.

The United States, Britain and Australia are the top destinations of overseas students, whose numbers are expected to reach 263 million by 2025.

“Strong economic growth in the key Asian markets has fueled higher education enrollments globally,” said Philip Hillman, lead director for the student housing market at Jones Lang LaSalle.

“Over the past decade, countries like China, India and Vietnam have experienced rapid growth in the wealthier middle class, which has spurred demand for higher education and better housing options in destination countries,” he added.

Developer-operators have traditionally dominated the market but equity funds, sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, investment managers and real estate investment trusts are entering the sector.

It said the sector is seen as a good investment owing to high occupancy rates and strong demand as well as positive income and rental growth.

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