The role of accommodation in supporting student wellbeing is gaining more recognition all the time. That’s according to Matthew Bowen, head of student property research at Knight Frank, who was commenting as part of a new report on key trends in this market in 2018-19.
One of the most significant themes highlighted in the Knight Frank/UCAS research was that the majority of people living in purpose-built student housing are happy with their accommodation. This is a valuable reassurance for investors, who want to feel confident they are offering a product that will generate demand and meet expectations in their target market.
Contributing to the student experience
Accommodation that is specifically designed for students can help people studying at universities and colleges across the UK get the best out of their time in higher education.
The research revealed that around 30 per cent of full-time first-year students across the UK live in private, purpose-built student accommodation, up from 22 per cent five years ago.
Just over three-quarters (76 per cent) of people living in this sort of housing said they were happy with their choice. More than seven out of ten students residing in a studio or single-person flat were satisfied with their current living situation.
The study also looked into the key factors that influence how positive students feel about their accommodation. Location came out on top, cited by 79 per cent of respondents, followed by the ability to live with others (76 per cent), number of bedrooms (73 per cent) and the quality of the accommodation (67 per cent).
Highlighting the importance of these considerations, Knight Frank said: “To succeed, owner-operators need to have a clear view on what students need and want from their accommodation. Strong product design, customer care and wellbeing will become increasingly important as students demand housing choices that will support and enhance their overall experience.”
For investors, there is a lot of value in accommodation with extra features for which occupants are willing to pay a premium, thereby fuelling higher rental yields.
Seven out of ten students (70 per cent) taking part in the survey said they would be prepared to pay extra on top of their rent to secure fast Wi-Fi. A larger bedroom was the second most appealing feature (47 per cent), followed by an on-site gym (45 per cent) and 24-hour security (44 per cent).
Other key findings from the survey showed that parental involvement is a big factor for first-year students, with 76 per cent of this group saying their parents helped them decide where to live.
More than four out of ten new students (44 per cent) live within a ten-minute commute of their campus, compared to 29 per cent of second and third-year students.
These are all important considerations and key factors for students as they embark on an exciting new chapter in their lives.
For investors, there is no denying the value to be derived from this market when the product on offer meets the demands of this key demographic.
If you require more information about investing in student accommodation, contact Experience Invest for more information about the asset class and to request the latest availability.