According to a recent Jones Lang LaSalle report entitled “International
student destinations redeﬁning the world of real estate investment”, the
nine top destinations in the world for international students are also tops in
terms of being real estate investment destinations for both residential and
1. London: Londonʼs international student population is diverse, with a
growing proportion coming in from Asia. China and India alone represent
22 per cent of the international student population in the UK. The
abundance of good educational institutions coupled with the diversity and
style that London exudes make the city a prime target for real estate
investment..London is viewed by many global players as a safe haven of
wealth. International buyers including American, Middle Eastern, German
and Asian investors represented well over 50 per cent of the total
investment volumes in Central London in 2009 and 2010. In 2011, these
volumes showed no signs of slowing down, with an increasing number
coming from Asia. We expect house prices to grow by about 4 per cent in
2012 followed by 8 per cent per annum by 2014. On an annual basis,
rental growth is expected to slow down, from about 12 per cent in 2011 to
7 per cent in 2012 and towards 5 per cent by 2014. The low levels of
supply in London, however, ensure that prices and rents in the city remain
2. New York: In 2010, 46 per cent of the international student population
in the US came from China, India, and South Korea. Growth was primarily
driven by a 30 per cent increase in Chinese student enrollment between
Sudoku. The city is home to some of the best universities in the world such as
Colombia and Cornell University. As a result, overseas buyers are growing
3. Tokyo: Japan hosts a large population of international students from
Asia, with China making up 61 per cent of the total number, followed by
South Korea and Taiwan. The cityʼs rich culture and proximity to other
Asian cities presents a win-win scenario for many students. University of
Tokyo and the Tokyo Institute of Technology rank 25th and 57th
respectively in world rankings.
Things are looking up for Japan in 2012 as the gross domestic product
(GDP) is expected to improve signiﬁcantly due to reconstruction related
demand from last yearʼs tsunami and earthquake disaster.
4. Singapore: The Singapore commercial and housing property markets
expect to see short-term rent and price corrections of 10-20 per cent
between 2012 and 2015, presenting investors with a good opportunity to
buy in at the bottom end of the cycle. Lower population growth and high
future supply are expected to induce a further decline in home prices, with
over 11,000 private residential units scheduled for completion over the
next ﬁve years. In turn, the supply pressure on the market is likely to be
highest in 2014 and 2015. Moreover, net lettable area in ofﬁce and
business parks is expected to grow by 4 per cent in 2012. In spite of this,
the local property market is often described as ʻresilientʼ, as it has strong
underlying market fundamentals.
5. Shanghai: Chinaʼs steady economic rise paralleled with an increase in
demand for Mandarin language skills has rendered the country an
attractive destination for students from Asia and beyond. China has seen
a 10 per cent increase in the number of international students between
2009 and 2010, with the majority coming from South Korea, Japan, and
universities in Shanghai include Fudan and Jiao Tong University. In recent
years, the rapid economic growth in Chinaʼs city centres, particularly
Shanghai, has fuelled a substantial hike in housing prices.
A number of government measures, including property taxes, have since
been applied to cool the market and these are expected to continue into
2012. We are seeing some improvement in the availability of mortgage
ﬁnancing, as well as lower interest rates for ﬁrst time home buyers.
Sale prices and rents for high-end apartments remained relatively stable
in Q4 2011, on the back of steady supply and limited demand. With this
view in mind, annual sales for the high-end segment are likely to recover
moderately in the second half of 2012. Pudong and Puxi markets in
Shanghai will remain tight due to limited new supply.
6. Los Angeles: Los Angeles is the third-largest city economy by GDP in
the world, behind only Tokyo and New York. The cityʼs glamourous
entertainment industry and diversiﬁed economic landscape are big
incentives for Asian students. California hosts the largest number of
international students in the US, with Los Angeles having the largest
concentration. The University of California and the University of Southern
California rank among the top universities in the world.
The marketʼs downturn has helped its apartment rental market, as more
households choose to rent. Assuming steady job growth in 2012, the
residential market is poised to gain ground. Apartment vacancy is likely to
further drop, supporting rent increases.
7. Toronto: Toronto has one of the largest Chinatowns in North America.
Nearly 30 per cent of Canadaʼs international student population comes
from China, followed by India and South Korea. Canadaʼs universities are
highly ranked with McGill ranking 17th, The University of Toronto at 25th
spot and the University of British Colombia at 51st.
Torontoʼs ofﬁce market continues to drive central Canadaʼs performance
as sustained demand from tenants solidiﬁes over the short term.
8. Sydney: Sydney has long had a high proﬁle on the global stage, largely due to the perfectly balanced lifestyle it claims to offer, ranging from its
beaches and water sports, food and wine to its strong cultural heritage. It
has gained popularity among Asian high net worth families in recent
years. Popular universities include The University of Sydney and the
University of New South Wales, which are both ranked in the top 50
Residential property in Sydney is considered to be a stable and
high-quality investment choice, although the cityʼs undersupply of
accommodation and high migration are likely to keep prices the highest of
any Australian city.
9. Melbourne: For the ﬁrst time in almost a decade, Melbourne has
replaced Vancouver as the most livable city among 140 cities around the
world. In 2010, 48 per cent of international students in Australia came
from China, India, and Malaysia. Migration will continue to play a big role,
putting pressure on the supply of residential dwellings and investment