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Demand for housing by international students is still strong, despite Brexit

Demand for housing by international students is still strong, despite Brexit

According to applicant data from UCAS, there were more than 560,000 students applying for a full-time undergraduate course for the 2019/20 academic year, which was the first year-on-year increase in three years. This was driven by a record number of international students applying to British universities. Out of all the applicants, students from outside the UK made up 19.2% of the overall figure which is a 5.7% increase from the previous term.

Applicants from China made up a large portion of this year’s prospective students. The number of Chinese applicants rose to 15,880, which was an increase of 33.3% from the previous year. To put this into perspective, the total number of Chinese students applying nearly amounts to the same as applicants from Northern Ireland and Wales, which were recorded at 17,910 and 18,855, respectively.

Interestingly, there was also a 1% increase of students applying from within the EU. However, the likelihood of this demand continuing will be dependent on changes in fees and immigration policy after the UK leaves the EU.

These are impressive figures considering the current political uncertainty, with the UK due to leave the European Union by the end of October. It’s a real testament to the ongoing global appeal of UK higher education.

The popularity of higher education in the UK has not gone unnoticed. Reports from earlier this year show that British universities are redoubling their efforts to attract students from overseas. The government is looking to increase the number of international students by 30% by introducing a post-study visa to give foreign students ample opportunity to find work in the UK and for UK employers to see benefits of recruiting international talent.

An increase in international students will be good news for those looking to invest in purpose-built student accommodation. With university-owned accommodation in decline, there is more demand for private accommodation, and this is only going to grow as the UK continues to be a popular student destination for foreign students. There is also a huge demand for premium studio apartments for students, with the rising price in student rents and a large market of affluent students from overseas.

It’s even more encouraging that the expected growth will be maintained in the long-term. According Knight Frank, the UK is set to see 15% growth of the number of full-time undergraduate students between now and 2030. This would represent an impressive growth of 220,000 students.

However, it’s important to note that these figures will depend on what happens when Brexit does come into full effect. James Pullan, head of student property at Knight Frank, believes that the outlook for student property will still be positive.

He said: “While the latest figures suggest that Brexit has not deterred overseas applicants, future demand is contingent on decisions surrounding the UK’s relationship with the European Union. The medium and long term picture however, remains bright, underpinned by positive demographics and the recently announced International Education Strategy.”

It’s clear that the UK continues to be a hotspot for international students and international students, comes a demand for premium purpose-built accommodation.

Want to make the most of the high demand for student property? Enquire with us today!