The student property market is set to get a boost this year as figures were released showing the scale of new student applications. A-level results, which were received in early August, show that pass rates have stayed at over 98, meaning that a record number of students have been accepted to universities.
Some 424,000 students had been accepted to UK universities and colleges by the morning of August 18, the highest number recorded on A-level results day, according to the University and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS). It represents a strong growth in student numbers and also means that demand for quality student accommodation will also grow again this year as demand continues to outstrip supply.
There were also fears that the Brexit result, announced in June, could have a negative impact on student applications from the European Union as uncertainty grew over the status of students and EU citizens. Despite this, the number of EU students placed at UK universities and colleges was actually the highest on record, increasing to 26,800 amid a scramble for places.
This demand for university places has been apparent in huge university destinations like Greater Manchester. Salford and Manchester universities were set for record intakes as results recorded at colleges and sixth-forms around the region reported outstanding pass rates. Salford City College recorded a 99% pass rate and it’s expected that a large number of students will be applying for places in Manchester and Salford for university undergraduate courses.
As investors become more heavily involved in the student accommodation market, the news has been warmly received. In the lead up to this year new student accommodation projects across the UK had seen significant increases and investment as numbers consistently grow. Many of the UK’s foremost institutions are now trying to move away from increasing their own stock as competition from boutique Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) has meant a majority of students preferring to avoid the classic but outdated halls of residence that were once a key feature of student life. Students are now becoming ever more demanding in the pursuit of value for money as grants and loans are to be stretched further and so quality boutique housing at value for money is highly prized. Popularity
Student accommodation has recently become a mainstream UK investment asset that has continuously performed strongly across the country but especially in Greater Manchester as one of the busiest student cities in Europe. The supply/demand imbalance in the area has widened even more in such a sought-after student destination, which for investors has meant high yields and strong capital appreciation across the region. Investors are favouring student accommodation because of its low purchase price (compared to more expensive residential projects), and the opportunities for low void periods and higher-than-average yields.
A perfect example of the new type of accommodation that both students and investors love is X1 The Campus which has been approved within the Fredrick Road Campus at the University of Salford. Comprising of 271 student studio apartments split over two blocks and eight floors with 12 of them as large premium studios. The top floor consists of 11 premium penthouse studios.
The student accommodation market has excelled in recent times, especially in areas like Greater Manchester where the supply/demand imbalance is ever-increasing, so there has never been a better time to invest in student accommodation!