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Student rental market in crisis

One of the UK’s largest student property developers have set out plans to invest over £300m over the next three years to create an additional 7,500 student rooms across the UK. The news follows shortly after the student property specialists revealed a strategy shake-up to target more towns and cities with high-performing universities.

This academic year the group have opened five new properties, creating 3,000 beds in addition to 4,800 in ongoing projects for 2017. In the next three years, a further 7,000 beds are set to be created in new private hall developments across the UK.

Danielle Cullen, Managing Director at said, “We’re currently seeing a student rental crisis in many areas in the UK. As a growing imbalance between supply and demand develops, rental prices are increasing making it a less affordable option to study away from home. The student rental market is desperate for investment and it’s great to see vast amounts of money being spent.”

With over 1.7m students in full-time higher education and nearly 60% of those studying away from home, student property demand is high. As for supply, 53% (230,000 beds) of total purpose-built stock are university owned and 47% (200,000 beds) are privately owned by private hall investors and landlords. But as investment in private halls grows, there are growing concerns for private housing.

What is uncertain though is the impact this will have on the residential shared housing market and private landlords. In 2015 private halls only made up 6% of the entire student property stock. In recent years and based on development plans, this is set to significantly increase. Some cities have recently had new private halls developed, and research discovered a handful of private landlords were left with un-let properties at the end of the last academic year. Is this a trend that will stick, or will the market still see demand for private residential housing?

Danielle continues, “Whilst investment into private halls is great for students and competition, it will have a huge impact on private landlords in the areas of investment. Traditionally private halls were always the higher end of the market in terms of both quality and price. Now more developments are completing however creating more competition, the price points are lowering leaving some private landlords in trouble.”

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Student Tenant


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