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University population expenditure and its impact on real estate demand: Evidence from South Africa

David Dyason

Development Southern Africa, 2020, vol. 37, issue 2, 197-216

Abstract: A university campus has an ability to attract consumers from outside the region who spend locally to the benefit of the local economy and in particular the real estate market. This article identifies the real estate benefit to the host city from staff and student spending. The Potchefstroom Campus of the North-West University in South Africa is used as an example and real estate demand modelling is applied to estimate the real estate space demand benefit to the host city. In 2016, the R2.2 billion expenditure by staff and students spilled over into a healthy demand for floor space in the city. A steady increase in on-campus, full-time students and a corresponding increase in staff numbers will continue to benefit the demand for real estate. However, this close relationship between university enrolments and activity in the real estate market could similarly be constrained if spending is under pressure.

Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1080/0376835X.2018.1557510

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