As Britain has now decided to leave the EU, we asked Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO of Collegiate AC, the leading provider of luxury student properties in the UK, to comment on how much of an impact will be felt within the student accommodation sector:
‘As a service provider to university students, we are of course disappointed at the vote to leave the EU and its potential impact on our students aspirations for their future across a common EU market of potential, of friends and of allies. We support the government as they try and secure continued favourable market access.
As student accommodation providers, the impact of Brexit within our sector is limited. Education is an essential good and less exposed to economic volatility. We saw this during the last economic downturn when we actually experienced strong growth whilst the rest of the property market struggled.
We do not expect to see any reduction in the levels of participation in higher education as a result of the general economic impact of Brexit, as education remains a priority whatever the economic outlook. In terms of accommodation, we actually saw a spike in booking confirmations over the weekend as our international student tenants took advantage of the lower pound to maximise savings in their housing costs.
Despite our resilience as an economic sector, we are hopeful that negotiations will lead to a continuation of the UK remaining at the heart of a reformed Europe through sensible compromise that secures our market access at a sensible cost. We want our students to see a world of opportunity and to feel more positive about realising their full potential. We believe that the economic and social success of Europe as a continent is key to that.
Collegiate AC is expanding its operations strongly in the UK, with 12 new student residences opening this Autumn and the same amount opening the following year. Collegiate AC is also taking advantage of opportunities in mainland Europe, starting with the opening of a new scheme in Lisbon next year and working with investors and developers to open projects in Spain, Holland, Germany and France. Fortunately we don't see the opportunity for our university student accommodation projects diminishing because of Brexit.’
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