Student numbers are increasing across the UK right now, with the latest UCAS figures showing a record number of 18 year olds applied for a place at university last year. As a result, higher education providers across the country are struggling to meet the growing demand for student housing, putting a strain on the property market.
Last year saw a total of 32.6 per cent of all 18-year-olds in the UK secure a place at university – the highest ever figure recorded. Meanwhile, the number of applicants from students overseas broke the 100,000 barrier for the first time. In total, more than 530,000 students were accepted into UK higher education in 2017.
It means the popularity of securing a university education remains as strong as ever, but with such a widespread rise in demand, many students are now turning to student-specific managed accommodation due to a lack of campus availability at many institutions.
Expansion of capacity is a must for higher education
Figures published by Cushman & Wakefield, as part of its UK Student Accommodation Report 2017, showed that there are now approximately 602,000 purpose-built bed spaces available to students across the country at present.
However, with more than 1.7 million students in full-time higher education, it means that only one in three of this group are currently able to reside in purpose-built student housing. Across the country, a record 30,000 new bed spaces were delivered in 2017, but despite this increase, the data highlights a current gulf between availability and demand that is being witnessed across the sector.
Addressing this need is therefore a top priority for all educators and stepping in to fill the void has been the efforts of many private developers and investors. Indeed, the global investment market for student-specific developments reached an annual record of $16.4 billion (£11.8 billion) in 2016, with Savills reporting the provision of new, purpose-built accommodation to replace outdated housing stock is now a priority in many countries, the UK included.
With a lessening of availability therefore comes the need for a new way of meeting demand, and for precisely this reason, managed student accommodation is now an increasingly attractive and popular choice for students across the UK.
What are the perks of managed student accommodation?
A sense of community is at the heart of the attraction for many managed student properties, as these developments bring together students from all backgrounds and disciplines to create a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere for all.
The rooms are all fully furnished and finished to an extremely high standard, meaning residents enjoy stylish and comfortable surroundings at a price that is tailored specifically to meet the restricted budget of an undergraduate lifestyle.
Some of the additional advantages of managed student accommodation include access to a wide array of facilities for residents, with everything on offer from on-site gym facilities, lounge and games areas, through to communal meetings paces, around-the-clock CCTV coverage and high-speed Wi-Fi connections throughout.
At the same time, residents benefit from an on-site management team that are always available to help with any issues that might arise. Residing in a managed student development means that young people can be assured they can enjoy all of the comforts of home, with the freedom and flexibility that comes with university living.
New developments are springing up all over
Across the UK, the call for more student-specific housing means that managed student developments are now coming to the fore in terms of meeting this need in places where universities themselves may be unable to offer accommodation.
Experience Invest has played a pivotal role in supporting new student-specific developments across the country, with some of our standout projects to date including Opto Student Newcastle – a fully-managed development in the heart of Newcastle providing 223 self-contained studio suites – and the impressive Aura Student Liverpool.
Both developments are fantastic prospects for investors, delivering assured annual net rental returns of eight per cent, while they also serve to provide luxurious accommodation for the burgeoning student population of these vibrant cities.
Fully overseen by management company Opto Living, both Opto Student Newcastle and Aura Student Liverpool are among the new wave of standalone student housing projects that are serving to meet the needs of the nation’s growing student population.
The scope for managed student developments across the UK is therefore growing all the time, and with a higher number of students than ever before, many are turning to purpose-built accommodation to give them the freedom to attend the university of their choice.