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The £12.5 million student home

The £12.5 million student home

As many students settle in to their new accommodation for the year they may be forgiven for thinking that their surroundings are a little modest in comparison to the latest student apartment to hit the market – a £12.5 million home in Mayfair. Rent on the supersized property is a staggering £4,000 a week.

Agents say 80 per cent of enquiries for the Mayfair townhouse — the only one with a front door in Park Lane — have come from students from the Gulf region or their parents. The 3,540 sq ft three-bedroom home has glass floors and a glass roof as well as a 60ft-high central atrium.

Property experts say they have seen a big swing from wealthy Middle East parents buying a flat outright for their student children to renting instead, largely because of the increase in stamp duty since 2012. The property, valued at £12.5 million, took 18 months to build behind the Park Lane street front. The 10ft-high solid oak front door opens onto a dramatic entrance hall surrounded by glass on all sides, including the floor.

The soaring central atrium has a cantilevered glass staircase with glass balustrades and oak treads. The master suite opens onto a private roof-terrace overlooking Hyde Park. The three-bedroom townhouse has a front door on Park Lane, but behind the historic front are brand new interiors including glass floors, a glass roof and a triple-height central atrium.

Stamp duty increases at the top of the property market, and a new rate for second homes, have made buying a property much more expensive, and as a result agents say they have seen a rise in the number of luxury houses and flats being let.

Landlords are keen to let to them as parents typically pay the whole year upfront and pay for cleaners and other staff who help keep the properties in good condition. Most of the luxury homes on Park Lane are now lived in by student offspring of wealthy families from the Middle East, the agents said.

It follows a growing trend for student property investment across the UK where student numbers are rising rapidly year-on-year. Due to the government lifting restrictions on universities’ student caps, there has been a bumper intake of new arrivals this year across the UK.

This has spelt good news for student property investors who have seen the value and yields of their investments rising continually. Student apartments have risen in popularity in part because of the ability to fit them in to a diverse portfolio. Typically they are cheaper than purchasing residential off-plan property and require less capital investment, meaning that investors can build a varied portfolio.

The majority of student accommodation regularly sees occupancy rates around 100% and has been one of the strongest performers in the world of property investment for some time now.

The general quality of student housing has been vastly improved by private investment. The competition introduced by private student accommodation has encouraged developers to provide more and more facilities to their customers at better prices. ‘Boutique’ student housing has seen its stock rise astronomically in recent years, providing the high end services that students are desperate for, such as super-fast broadband, gyms, and en-suite. The real issue is that these far superior boutique rooms are a similar price to standard university halls which often provide nowhere near the same service. With all of this in mind it’s no real surprise that cases such as £12.5 million student housing grab attention when student property performs so well nationally. If you are interested in

investing in student property, please click here to see our range of investment opportunities.