Students across the country are now enjoying their summer breaks and are being measured for their graduation ceremony gowns. Student accommodation landlords, agents and management companies are all set to welcome a new crop of first and second year students back for September.
New student accommodation developments are being constructed and investment into Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) continues apace.
With that in mind, we’re wondering what features of student accommodation are now the norm, and what features often entice the best customers on behalf of investors and landlords?
Here is our top three:
Most of the research conducted recently regarding student attitudes and behaviours whilst studying have concurred on a number of things – mainly that students are taking their studies more seriously. Since the introduction of tuition fees, an education has now become something to consider in financial terms, rather than purely experience based.
With this in mind many are finding that students aren’t quite leading the hedonistic party lifestyle that perhaps they once were. With tuition fees at more than £9,000 per year in most universities, as well as maintenance loans, many students are looking at a total debt of between £30,000 and £50,000 upon completing their studies.
Developers have taken notice of this, as well as students who would like a more community-driven living experience, making friends and spending time with their peers whilst at their accommodation.
One of the key features introduced to entice students on this basis have been cinema rooms where students from across the building can sit in together and watch a film. Socialising without having to spend money on drinks and travel whilst remaining clear headed for their studies has proved popular, and many PBSA developments now include them as standard
In a similar situation to the cinema feature, students are also much more health conscious than they once were, following a nationwide trend for fitness with the implementation of a wave of fitness tech and apps.
As students veer away from the party lifestyle in favour of health consciousness and focus on their studies, many prefer to have the option to work out and exercise whilst studying.
Much like cinema rooms, gym facilities have proved popular and the majority of new PBSA buildings are now offering these as standard with membership included in the rent of the room.
Smart TV’s and high-speed broadband
TV licences for students are a rite of passage when moving away from their parents, but barely any students are now subscribing to pay-for TV services such as Sky, Virgin or BT. Instead, with the majority of students spending their time on their laptops, many have Netflix and Amazon subscriptions.
Developers have taken notice and ensured that they are offering smart TV’s in their accommodations meaning that students can simply log in to their subscription services through their internet connected TV’s, rather than having to watch on their laptop screens alone in the dark.
Subsequently, an absolute must-have for any student accommodation is super-fast broadband and fibre broadband services. Some offer this service as part of the rent whilst others charge separately for the service. A majority now offer these two services together in order to provide students the best possible experience.
Whether you’re a new landlord looking for investment opportunities or a current landlord looking to expand their portfolio, it’s not absolutely necessary that your investment features any or all of these features, but would provide a fairly good idea of whether the developer has had the student in mind, and whether they will prove popular for an increasingly savvy student customer base.