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Student accommodation

Why student wellbeing is key to the PBSA sector

Author: Gemma

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JLL has released a report underlining the importance of student wellbeing to universities and housing operators, which could prove significant for investors looking for properties that appeal to tenants.

Property investors planning to enter the purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) sector in the UK should take various factors into account when planning and evaluating their investment.

According to recent research, one increasingly important trend that investors could benefit from tracking is student wellbeing.

JLL’s UK Student Housing Report 2019 noted that the wellbeing of university and college attendees has become a “high priority” for education institutions and housing operators alike.

It’s estimated that a third of students experience depression or loneliness, often resulting from pressures such as exam-related stress, financial worries, relationship difficulties and the quality of their accommodation.

Many students going to university will be living away from home for the first time, which can be a daunting experience, particularly for those who are coming from overseas.

It’s important, therefore, for PBSA schemes and housing operators to provide a certain standard of accommodation. Provisions like CCTV coverage and on-site management can help residents feel safe and secure, while communal areas and leisure amenities help students to settle in, make friends and feel at home.

Investors can increase their chances of securing the best possible rental yields by acquiring units within developments that offer these benefits.

Looking at the UK student housing market as a whole, the JLL report suggested there are several reasons for property owners to feel confident about seeing returns on their investment in the coming years.

One of the most encouraging trends relates to demand, with the sector witnessing an increase of 114,000 full-time students in the last five years, despite a decline in domestic 18-year-olds in that time. Student numbers are set to increase by 500,000 by 2030, according to the research.

“Amid market uncertainty, investors are seeking assets with defensive qualities,” the study authors noted. “Student housing continues to offer income-producing opportunities at scale.”

If you would like to discuss current investment opportunities in student accommodation and other sectors, book a one-on-one consultation with Experience Invest or call us on +44 (0)207 834 1113.

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