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Student accommodation

UCAS application figures bode well for student property investment

Author: Gemma

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The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) has released new figures illustrating the ongoing appeal of the UK’s higher education institutions, which will be welcome news to investors in student property.

With young people from Britain and overseas continuing to flock to universities and colleges all over the country, owners of purpose-built student accommodation can expect healthy and consistent demand for well-equipped, conveniently located rooms.

The UCAS End of Cycle Report 2018 showed another increase in the higher education acceptance rate, which reflects the association between applicant numbers and acceptances. The rate increased by 0.4 percentage points in 2018 to 76.7 per cent, the highest figure recorded since 2008.

This marked the continuation of an upward trend that began in 2010.

UCAS also published figures for full-time undergraduate applications made by the January 15th deadline for courses starting in September 2019, revealing that 561,420 people applied for a place, almost 2,500 more than a year earlier.

A record 38.8 per cent of England’s 18-year-old population applied for university and college courses, marking a 1.4 percentage point increase from 2018. UCAS pointed out that this rise occurred despite a 1.8 per cent fall in the total number of 18-year-olds in England, underlining the growing demand for higher education.

International trends were also encouraging, with a record 63,690 people from outside the EU applying to study in the UK, nine per cent more than last year. The number of applicants from within the EU rose by one per cent, to 43,890.

Clare Marchant, UCAS chief executive officer, said: “In this time of uncertainty, it’s welcome news to see more EU and international students wanting to come and study in the UK.

“Alongside this, demand from UK 18-year-old students remains strong, despite the falling numbers of this age group in the population. The unexpected rise in the application rate from English 18-year-olds, against the population trend, signals they still recognise the challenge and rewards of full-time undergraduate study.”

These are all encouraging trends for investors in student property, who will take encouragement that purpose-built accommodation will continue to deliver regular returns thanks to consistent demand from tenants.

Property specialist Experience Invest is currently offering a number of incentives to enter this lucrative market, including eight per cent net rental returns assured for five years at Opto Student Newcastle and Aura in Liverpool.

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