Student housing proves to be a lucrative niche for investors

Student housing proves to be a lucrative niche for investors

Off-campus housing has also gone more upscale, with some offering stainless-steel appliances, granite kitchen counter tops and in-suite laundry. Rooftop patios, fitness studios and theatre rooms are in the mix, too.

It’s a far cry from the days in Waterloo when student housing meant renting old or run-down buildings, recalls Mr. Knapp, who is president of Toronto-based Moose Power Inc. “I lived in a crappy townhouse 20 years ago.”

In addition to individual investors such as Mr. Knapp, who says he prefers the stability of investing in real estate to stocks, student housing has also landed on the radar screens of pension funds and other institutional investors. The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, for instance, has been investing in operators of off-campus accommodations in both Britain and the United States since 2015.

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