At the beginning of 2019 we reported that a Knight Frank analysis showed a strong year ahead for student accommodation investment. The research showed that the total value of student accommodation transactions in 2018 reached £4.5bn, representing growth of more than 10% over 2017.
This record year looks like being repeated, as confirmed by a report from Cushman & Wakefield which lays bare the scale of growth in the student accommodation sector.
The company’s UK Student Accommodation Report 2018/19 shows that there are now 627,000 student beds in the private sector, amounting to almost half of the national total. However, this still only means that the private sector is providing beds for a third of the total UK full-time student body which stands at 1.8 million – making it clear that there is room for further growth.
With almost a quarter of students in UK higher education now hailing from abroad it is no surprise that rents rose by an average of 2.8% in 2018. International students are the ones most likely to desire, and be able to afford, high quality private accommodation. The growing competition for the best located apartments with the most desirable amenities and finest reputations is good news for investors.
Another positive for investors is that the price difference between private accommodation and that provided by universities is falling. Previously, traditional halls were often seen as a more affordable option. However, universities have begun raising prices to make the most of their asset, and that leaves a simple calculation for students – if you are going to be paying an increased rate anyway, why not go for the modern, private accommodation? In this way, demand increases year-on-year.
Cushman & Wakefield expects that the growth of the market will increase further in 2019, with at least 36,000 more beds coming on stream across the country. This represents growth of more than 4,000 beds compared to the previous year. Most of this growth will be centred on the major markets such as Manchester; it is anticipated that 40% of the new beds coming to market this year will be in just five markets.
This is a great time to invest in student accommodation – why not have a look at our available properties today?