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Global student mobility offers international investment opportunities

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The movement of students around the world could be set to boost international money transfer activity over the next few years.

According to Knight Frank, many opportunities for property investors have opened up in major European cities as a result of increased global student mobility.

This trend was attributed to factors such as the emergence of middle class consumers in emerging economies, as well as the international connectivity offered by digital media.

Indeed, Knight Frank said the internet has made young people around the world better informed than ever before, which means many are keen to look around the world for the best higher education facilities.

As a result, the organisation believes property investors may wish to take advantage of this trend by purchasing student housing in hotspots of activity such as London and Paris.

James Pullan, head of student property at the body, commented: "The rise in global student mobility has created an excellent opportunity for investment in key European cities and is a long-term trend that is set to continue."

He noted that student housing in Britain has remained a lucrative option for investors throughout the economic downturn, with property owners collecting "solid and consistent returns".

Vienna was identified as another top location in Europe for student accommodation, along with Dublin and Barcelona.

Nevertheless, the continuing debt crisis in the eurozone across the financial bloc could limit the returns investors may collect to an extent. Indeed, recent figures from Knight Frank showed global house prices went up by just 0.9 per cent during the 12 months to March 2012.

This, it stated, was the lowest increase "since the depths of the recession in 2009" and was put partly down to lingering uncertainty in Europe. Ireland performed particularly badly, with prices dropping by 16.3 per cent throughout the year.

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