The student accommodation sector is growing at a staggering rate and presents one of the most viable and lucrative investment opportunities in housing.
Raised Floor Solutions have written this guest post explaining why purpose-built student accommodation is so important to both students and locals and why it presents such a strong investment opportunity.
Just ten years ago the sector was almost non-existent and students only had two choices of student accommodation: university-run halls of residence that were often outdated and insufficient, or houses that had been converted for multiple occupation (HMOs). Neither of these two options were particularly appealing to students and it was often a case of lump it or leave it. I can still recall my tiny room in dilapidated halls of residence and dingy student housing from my time at university.
Come forward to today and the student housing sector has been completely altered by the rise of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA). Students are no longer forced to pay extortionate amounts to live in run-down shared houses with only one bathroom between them or in tiny rooms in outdated uni halls. Instead, students can now choose from a range of accommodation options that are custom-made to satisfy their needs and requirements and are available at a range of budgets.
What is purpose-built student accommodation?
Purpose-built student accommodation is different from traditional forms of student housing because it has been designed and built by private developers purely for the use of university students.
PBSA usually takes the form of cluster flats, which have several private bedrooms with shared kitchen and communal living areas or private studios. Both often come with attached leisure facilities such as cinemas, games rooms and gyms.
Why are so many students choosing PBSA?
With the continued development of PBSA and the increasing number of options available to them, students are increasingly choosing PBSA as their desired accommodation whilst at university.
PBSA is far better at catering to student’s needs and demands than other traditional forms of accommodation and students are very much willing to pay for the additional convenience and quality. In fact, over half of students are searching for high-quality accommodation that is located near their main university campus.
Location is actually a major selling point for students when it comes to accommodation. Proximity to campus, shops, takeaways, bars and night clubs are very sought after by students as well as access to public transport.
Are students really paying more on rent?
Price of accommodation is often a big factor for both students and other renters. However, this does not mean that students will go for the cheapest option available. In fact, students regularly pay between £500-£800 a month on their accommodation.
Nevertheless, with this higher rent so too have student expectations increased. Students may be happy to part with that much money on accommodation, but they expect that accommodation will be well worth the cost.
This is something that was fairly uncommon a decade ago in the age of the like it or lump it mentality where the idea of having a private bathroom or state of the art communal facilities was completely unheard of for most students.
What makes PBSA such a good investment opportunity?
With all this considered, there are many reasons to consider student accommodation as a viable and lucrative investment. With the continuing growth of demand for PBSA and students increasingly being willing to pay higher rent for boutique accommodation it is clear that demand for student accommodation has changed and PBSA is becoming more important.
With each passing academic year, students are showing that they will gladly pay more to get a premium service with their accommodation. Price is almost a secondary consideration compared to the expected luxuries, such as double beds, private bathrooms, superfast wifi and all-inclusive bills.
With all of this in mind, landlords are primed to take advantage of the serious shortage of beds for students across the student accommodation sector. This shortage means that there is a steady supply of eager students applying for PBSA.
Additionally, the stigma attached to letting to students is beginning to change. The old stereotype of a messy and undesired tenant is now completely reversed. Today’s savvy student will actively search out high-end accommodation with the same consideration as young professionals.
The number of students in the UK is continuing to grow each year. The increasing investment in PBSA provides students with added convenience and comfort while also freeing up housing for everyone else. PBSA better caters for the needs of students while also providing a fantastic opportunity for landlords and investors.
About the author: Ben Fielding is a content writer who works with Raised Floor Solutions, a specialist composite flooring contractor that installs its products across the UK to the highest quality standards whilst ensuring a safe and sustainable business.