Cracovian private dormitories with full occupancy despite Covid-19 pandemic

November 2021

In August, Zeitraum Student Housing, our daughter company, opened its first private dormitory in Poland at Koszykarska 33 in Krakow. Today, this international student housing operator reports a 95 percent occupancy rate. The situation is similar in the Czech Republic, where Zeitraum operates four student houses, serving more than 400 students.

Currently, there are nearly 130,000 students in Kraków, including over nine thousand foreigners. The Jagiellonian University alone admitted 14,220 people this academic year, including foreigners, for first, second and long-term studies. The total number of students there today is over 40,000. All dormitories of the Jagiellonian University, AGH University of Science and Technology or Cracow University of Economics and Polytechnic are fully rented. The new Zeitraum dormitory is therefore no exception in terms of occupancy. Private student residences are as popular today as they were before the pandemic broke out. That's partly because the largest group of tenants are foreigners from Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Kazakhstan, the Ukraine and Belarus. They are students, who often work at the same time and stay in Poland for several years.

The data from Kraków is confirmed by reports from other large cities. Only every tenth student can count on accommodation in a student hall of residence - according to the latest analysis of the CBRE* consulting company. Currently, there are over 1.2 million students in Poland, and only 80 thousand beds in private and public student halls of residence. The shortage of places is many times higher than their supply. Therefore, the current situation with COVID-19 does not affect the popularity of renting this category of premises. Instead, it causes an increase in the activity of investors who want to build more facilities.

- When we opened the doors of our Krakow dorm during the pandemic, we knew it was a necessary step. Two thirds of students studying in Poland - including international students - are concentrated in big cities like Warsaw, Wroclaw, Poznan, Tricity, Lodz and Krakow, which is the cradle of Polish culture. - says Zdena Noack, managing director of Zeitraum Student Housing, the second largest student housing provider in the Czech Republic. - The almost full occupancy in our student house on Koszykarska Street, without any special marketing activities, proves that the problem with student accommodation is on a wider scale. In our Prague facilities, we started the previous student year with 80 percent occupancy, and this year we already had over 90 percent occupancy at the beginning. Mindful of COVID-19, however, we do not forget to make both studying and relaxing safe. We provide dispensers with hand sanitizer, and the use areas are cleaned thoroughly and frequently by our cleaning staff - adds Zdena Noack.

345 new places for students

It is to be reminded that the new dormitory opened its doors to students even before the start of the current academic year.

- We did a 'facelift' of the interior to bring it up to the standard of our dormitories in the Czech Republic, like 'U Průhonu' in Prague. Kraków students have 345 beds in 157 rooms, as well as fully equipped kitchens with microwave ovens, induction stoves, dishes and cutlery. The students also have a laundry room at their disposal, as well as facilities for studying and relaxing - including a multimedia room with a ULTRA HD TV to help create presentations or to entertain and integrate the students, adds Zdena Noack.

The operator's declarations are confirmed by the students. - The Zeitraum student house is very comfortable in terms of daily needs. It has comfortable rooms and special rooms for studying, which is very important. You can use the gym and the equipped rest rooms. I also appreciate the linen changes that are taken care of by the dorm staff and the regular cleaning of the bathrooms. I'm in my second year now and I plan to stay here until the end of my studies - says Veronika, an Ukrainian student.

Renting even for one semester

The new feature that Zeitraum has prepared for students - and this is a rarity on the market - is the possibility to conclude rental agreements even for a short period of time, i.e. for one semester. Renting is done through an automated platform and, which handle the entire booking process.

This online system is a unique tool on the market, because it allows the entire reservation process to be summarized to three simple steps. On the website, the student chooses the location and type of room: single, double or larger, confirms with a click that he/she wants to rent, pays a deposit and that's it. After that, all they have to do is to show up at the site with the code they received - adds Zdena Noack from Zeitraum. Another important convenience is the 24-hour reception desk in the dormitory, which allows for checking in at any time, as well as car and bicycle parking right next to the building, which is at the students' disposal.

Zeitraum, a subsidiary of Zeitgeist Asset Management, has been in business for five years and currently manages 805 dormitory beds and 156 serviced apartments. The operator's platform will also be joined in autumn next year by an ultra-modern student dormitory in the Solec district of Warsaw, which is currently being renovated.

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