Student accommodation is one of the most in-demand markets in the UK. With many UK cities boasting huge student populations that continue to grow year after year, property investors see the potential behind student buy to let. More recently, there’s been a noticeable shift in the type of properties students are drawn to. No longer do today’s UK students instantly settle for a shabby, run-down shared house. Today, high-end apartments with luxury features and amenities are on the rise, and both property companies and investors are taking note. So what exactly is the reason behind this growth in popularity of luxury student accommodation?
With key property hotspots like Liverpool and Manchester welcoming large numbers of students to its institutions each year, it’s clear that student accommodation is a big driving force in the success of a city when it comes to property investment. Cities with high student numbers tend to offer higher average rental yields and better rental demand than ones without. Manchester, for example, has a student population of around 99,000 and offers some of the highest rental yields at 5.55 per cent on average.
The number of overseas students choosing to study in the UK is likely to have driven the popularity of the luxury student market, with students from China making up the largest proportion of international students. Many Chinese students tend to be more financially stable due to the fact they need to pay international tuition fees and extra costs like language classes if necessary. This means that a lot of Chinese students are often willing to spend more on accommodation that fits their needs.
There are lots of reasons why luxury student accommodation appeals to so many of today’s students. A lot of these type of properties consist of a private apartment, with state of the art kitchen facilities and perks like an on-site gym or communal garden space. More traditional student accommodation usually means shared housing or shared facilities, which is less than ideal for those who prefer their privacy. Other features that may be built into this luxury style of student accommodation include smart lighting or eco-friendly facilities, which is likely to appeal further to more environmentally conscious tenants.
Student accommodation is generally considered more risk-free than other UK investment types due to the guaranteed rental income from high levels of demand. RW Invest is one property company which recognise the potential behind more high-end student property investments, offering opportunities in the north-west with attractive rental yields as high as 8 per cent. Students who choose to live in these type of properties often benefit from a short walk or journey to their university campus and the city’s nightlife and attractions.
With the overall UK population set to increase over the coming years, and the number of 18-year-olds enrolling in UK university courses having increased year on year in 2017, it’s likely that this demand for luxury student property is set to continue.