The rise of private student accommodation has been rapid over the past decade, with the sector now making up 50% of the entire market. Considering how ingrained the traditional university-owned hall of residence is in the student consciousness, this is an impressive feat.
We have previously outlined how the scale of this change represents a ‘handing over’ of responsibility for university accommodation to private developers, and how 2019 is likely to see record breaking statistics coming out of the sector. More money is being invested in more beds than ever before according to Knight Frank.
However, all of this development and investment would be misplaced if the demand from students was not there – and it very much is.
But why? What makes private student accommodation so much more appealing than traditional halls of residence? The contrasts between the general standard of the two types provides a big part of the answer.
Put simply, the quality of product and level of service provided by private accommodation is far higher. A survey of more than 2,000 students by website Save the Student illustrates this, showing that a third of UK students have gone through periods without either heating or running water in the last academic year.
When you consider other concerns such as damp, disruptive building work, rodents and pests, it is clear that there is a major problem. It is also fair to say that the older the accommodation, the more likely it is to suffer from these problems and reduce quality of life for student tenants.
Living in an awful student flat or house is sometimes presented as a rite of passage for young people, but with the National Union of Students reporting that the average price of a student home has risen by nearly a third in just six years, why should it be? If you are paying that much, you will rightly demand a higher quality home.
With all of the above in mind, is it really a surprise that so many students survey the landscape and opt for modern, private accommodation? The apartments are of a higher quality and the developments generally come with amenities such as gymnasiums, cinemas and games rooms.
Consequently, as reported by Save the Student, 30% of students begin looking for the following year’s accommodation by November in order to secure the best homes available. Increasingly often, that means the private student accommodation gets booked up first and early.
If you are looking to invest in student accommodation and take advantage of the massive, growing demand in the market, have a look at our available properties today and get in touch!