Student property overseas investments could recoup cost of university fees

Published:  5 Nov at 6 PM
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Expats about to see their children off to an overseas university could recoup much of the cost by investing in student properties, but care should be taken as property funds can be risky.

The straightforward way to subsidise the cost of an overseas degree for your son or daughter is to purchase an apartment or flat for them close by the chosen university. This way, parents save on rental charges and hopefully profit by an increase in the value of the property or by continuing to let it to the next set of incoming students.

For this, an international outlook is perhaps the best way forward given the unsustainable boom in UK property prices in the most preferred university towns. Australia is popular with overseas students at present, and the US with its plethora of universities is on the radar as real estate prices haven’t yet recovered from the financial crash.

For those searching for an investment further afield, Japan is the Asian choice for its increasingly high number of international students. The yen at present is at a favourable rate, and property prices in Tokyo are expected to soar as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics draws near.

One way not to invest in student property would seem to be the specialised bonds offered to expat investors over the last several years by local expat FAs. The record of recent failures in the sector indicates that the do-it-yourself approach, although more time-consuming, is the least risky as it’s based on bricks and mortar rather than exaggerated promises of high returns.
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