The supply of purpose-built student accommodation can'�t keep pace with growing student demand as HMO landlords continue to leave the sector, according to the UK'�s largest PBSA provider.
Unite Students reports that reservations for the 2023/24 academic year are at record levels, with 98% of rooms now sold, which CEO Richard Smith says reflects strong demand from both students and universities and the attractiveness of its fixed-priced all-inclusive offer.
'This supports an improvement in our rental growth guidance to around 7% for the 2023/24 academic year,'� he adds. 'Our strong leasing performance will continue to support our property valuations as the market adjusts to an environment of higher interest rates.'�
As traditdional HMO landlords leave the sector prompted by additional regulation and a looming overhaul of rental contract law, Unite is 'uniquely positioned' to address the housing need, says Smith, through its best-in-class operating platform, university relationships development and asset management capabilities.
Demand remains strong from both university partners and students booking accommodation on a direct-let basis, reports the firm, as universities increasingly rely on partners to meet their accommodation needs. It is committed to delivering four new schemes with a total development cost of �339 million.
Unite'�s UK Student Accommodation Fund property portfolio - comprising 27,924 beds in 71 properties - has been valued at �2.9 billion, a 1.2% increase on a like-for-like basis during the last quarter.
Its London Student Accommodation Joint Venture investment portfolio - comprising 9,716 beds across 14 properties - is worth �1.9 billion, a 1.1% increase.