Already back in 2012, Savills released a report pointing out opportunities for investors in the Italian student housing market. A low number of beds and private operators made room for these opportunities. On a population of 1,7 million students there were only 50,000 beds in dedicated student accommodation, which corresponds to a provision rate of only circa 3%. And of these 50,000 beds, only 3% was offered by private PBSA providers.
Since then, Italy suffered fom a severe debt crisis, which caused an economic downfall and some years of economic stagnation. During these years new student housing developments have been initiated by various regional foundations (like Fondazione CEUR and Fondazione RUI) and collegi universitari (Collegio di Milano etc). A fundamental to the Italian student accommodation market is the strong prevalence for students to live at home during study and the observation that domestic mobile students, moving from south to north for studies, typically find themselves in shared apartments scattered around the city.
While Italy is still behind its European peers – not only when it comes to PBSA provision, but also when it comes to the number of English Taught Programmes (ETPs) and university rankings – there has been an increasing interest of international investors, developers and student housing providers in the last two years.
 Spotlight: Student Housing in Italy, Savills, 2012