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Senior and Student Housing the residential formulas of the future

Senior e Student Housing le formule residenziali del futuro

During 2018, the Student Housing market was one of the most active emerging sectors in Italy. According to the latest Cbre outlook figures on investor intentions in 2019, 32% of respondents believe that student housing is the segment of the residential market with more development opportunities, followed by senior housing (25.2%).

Perspectives. Only in Milan are expected to arrive 50 thousand new young people (aged between 19 and 34 years) by 2030. The new urban development plan will therefore have to seek opportunities for urban regeneration to articulate the housing offer by favoring temporary residential solutions , subsidized rent, and residences for students and young people. Some international investors have already started investing in the Milan market, securing areas with strong potential for growth and attractiveness for students (Arexpo and Bocconi Area).

Hines: student housing in Milan and Florence.
Among these Hines, who, with the country head Mario Abbadessa, has carried out various student housing projects in Milan and Florence, and now aims at new multi-generational housing solutions, which also focus on senior living. "Considering that today wealth is channeled towards the young and the elderly - observes Abbadessa, - Hines considers interesting housing solutions for both students and the elderly. We are convinced that Italian society has changed a lot: children live more often outside the home and have a structured life, while, as we have also found in other countries, the elderly want more autonomy. This is why we have thought of structures in which the over-70s can be autonomous but at the same time inserted in urban contexts by accessing sociality and related services ”.

"Our idea - continues Abbadessa - arises from the consideration that the housing model for students and the elderly has a high demand, while the offer at the moment is not only fragile, but also of quality not in line with international standards. In concrete terms, we started from an asset class that we already know well, the student housing, which we have already dealt with in Ireland and the United Kingdom with projects for 5 thousand beds, to create an intergenerational model ".

In Milan we took over two projects with 1500 beds near Bocconi, for a total of 150 million of investment. Add to this another building in Florence that will contain 250 housing units for short-term rentals, therefore also for students, for an investment of 250 million. The goal is now to implement senior housing projects on this model, creating a model that was never realized before a generational mix, older students and families in the same structure ".

Senior housing in Milan.
"With regard to senior housing, the model we intend to follow is the same one we follow for students," explains Abbadessa: "a building in which 50% of the surface is not destined to generate income but serves to develop sociality through the provision of services. related to living (library, study room, yoga room, etc.) that favor aggregation. It has been found that, in the over-70s, senile dementia falls if they are placed in a community of their peers thanks to cultural activities. The apartments are basic but complete and intended for self-sufficient elderly who can have an independent life. As for the management of senior living facilities, which is more specific, we will use specialized companies, while for student residences and family living we usually deal with them personally ”.

As a city of development, we have Milan and Florence in mind, as well as Rome, which is a unique opportunity, although it is not an easy context. Investors interested in this type of project come especially from Northern Europe: in a long-term perspective they look for yield stability, and expected returns are in the order of 5% ".


Andrea Di Munno

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