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Student accommodation

Why the UK needs quality student housing to meet growing demand

Author: Riccardo

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The UK remains a highly popular place to pursue higher education, with the country’s prestigious universities proving as attractive as ever to British students and international applicants alike.

With recent research from JLL underlining the importance of student wellbeing as an aspect of the student accommodation sector, it’s clear there is an acute need for high-quality, well-equipped housing to meet tenant demand.

Student numbers on the rise

Recent trends and forecasts indicate that student numbers are on an upward trajectory and are set to continue increasing in the coming years.

Figures published by UCAS in July 2019 showed that a record 39.5% of all 18-year-olds in England had submitted a university or college application.

The international picture was just as positive, with the number of applicants from outside the EU rising by 8% to 81,340, a record high.

UCAS chief executive Clare Marchant said: “The global appeal of UK higher education has never been clearer, with record, demographic-beating application rates in England and Wales, and the steep rise in international applications, especially from China.”

Looking to the future, JLL has predicted there will be an additional 500,000 full-time students in the UK by 2030.

The importance of quality

With the student population continuing to grow, there is a clear need for additional housing stock to cater for this market.

Property developers, operators and investors can expect to see particularly strong demand for purpose-built accommodation that offers a good location, high-end amenities and other benefits that help tenants enjoy their time at university.

According to JLL’s UK Student Housing Report 2019, student wellbeing is now a “high priority” for universities and accommodation operators.

The UCAS data shows that more international students are coming to the UK, and this cohort is often the most willing to pay higher rents for desirable facilities and easy access to their campus.

As far as investors are concerned, the current picture in the student accommodation market suggests that owners of well-equipped, purpose-built housing in popular university towns and cities can feel confident of strong demand and healthy returns on their investment.

If you would like to discuss current investment opportunities in student property, contact Experience Invest.

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