High demand for student accommodation

Demand for student accommodation is stronger than ever according to recent research.

UniHomes, a student accommodation platform, has revealed that more people than ever are opting to go to university, resulting in a higher demand for student accommodation.

And despite coronavirus leading to a record decline in GDP, the demand for student accommodation has remained high.

In 2015, university students accounted for 3.6 per cent of the total UK population, but this has climbed consistently year on year, with them now making up 3.8 per cent of the UK.

According to commercial real estate experts Cushman and Wakefield, the level of student-specific accommodation has climbed at an average of 5.2 per cent a year since 2015.

Purpose-built student accommodation totals just 660,000 homes in total. As a result, many students are reliant on the private rental sector (PRS) to find a place to live while studying.

Unfortunately, a string of government legislative changes to buy-to-let stamp duty and tax relief for landlords has also caused stock levels in the PRS sector to fall across England alone.

The figures from UniHomes shows that PRS stock levels in England have fallen by an annual average of -0.2 per cent since 2015.

Today, there are 107,000 fewer rental homes across the UK market when compared to the peak of 4.832m rental properties in 2016.

Co-founder and director of UniHomes, Phil Greaves, said: “It’s great to see that there has been an increase in those opting to pursue higher education despite government changes to the student loan structure.

“The job market is a tough place to be searching at the moment and so many are seeing further education as a good investment of their time and money with a longer-term view of improving their employment prospects further down the line.

“However, while the provision of student-specific accommodation has also increased, a reduction in PRS stock is a worrying trend that could cause issues for future students when it comes to putting a roof over their heads.”