Creating the perfect student accommodation is a delicate balance between providing the facilities students want, finding a convenient location and offering it all for those on a student budget. Recent reports indicate that topping the lists of ‘what students want from accommodation’ are quality white goods, which 83% of those polled said they wanted. This is no surprise as student accommodation is often a young adults’ first taste of independent living, so having quality white goods helps massively to relieve household responsibilities and stress. Second on the list was superfast broadband with 75% and third was security with 55%. The bottom of the list saw more luxury items such as a hot tub or garden terrace which were both desired by 1%.
The report also asked students to detail the biggest downfall of accommodation which was revealed to be poor quality build of property and furniture. With many traditional university halls being out-dated, it is no surprise that bad features were a repeat offender, as contemporary and quality built accommodation is often in short demand. A lack of quick internet was also a major problem, proving how important it is for a modern day student to stay connected.
So, facilities wise, accommodation does not have to be overly extravagant as it appears students value an easier lifestyle over a luxurious one. Even large screen plasma TVs were only wanted by 16%, whereas 25% would like accommodation which you can take your pets to. However, this seemingly practical outlook does not mean that student accommodation is not important. The National Union of Students (NUS) recently released a housing report which found that a massive 45% of students said that their choice of university was influenced by the accommodation offered.
Location and space were seen as two of the most important factors when choosing where to live. For international students, ease of living also scored highly, as they were more likely to opt for accommodation with bills included to reduce complexity. Unfortunately, all of the positives often come at a high cost- the price, which was, unsurprisingly, the biggest factor when choosing accommodation.
Low cost of accommodation, plus gas and electricity bills are some of the most stressful things on students’ minds. Unfortunately in the race to find the perfect student accommodation, which has the best of all worlds, students can occasionally be left homeless when it comes to the start of term. The Times newspaper ran an article on the 15th of September highlighting the numbers of students forced to live in temporary accommodation as their halls were not yet built or were oversubscribed. One example of this is Manchester Metropolitan University’s new development Birley Fields, a massive project which will unfortunately not be complete until the end of October, despite having promised to be ready for the beginning of term. Students supposed to live in Birley Fields have had to move into another property in the meantime, only to do the whole thing again in one month.
With the cap on numbers lifted, universities are able to take in more students than ever before, but that also means quality accommodation is increasingly valuable and rare as students compete for every room. One of the other options (which will certainly seem appealing to students “left out to dry” by university accommodation) is student accommodation managed by another provider. This was another popular choice according to the NUS report.
The main reasons students chose this sort of accommodation was the ease it offered, plus externally managed accommodation in a close location to the university was seen as important. There is a definite appeal of the all-inclusive lifestyle this accommodation offers as it relieves students of stress. Notably ‘student accommodation managed by another provider’ was most popular with international students and also mature students thanks to the short contracts available.
Student Pod Shop offers investors Arndale House in Liverpool, this month’s featured ‘Property of the Month’. Located in the city centre and minutes’ walk away from the University of Liverpool campus, it is perfect for those without a car or bike to get around.