Posts with tag: students

Do International Students Choose HMOs to Combat Loneliness?

Published On: August 1, 2018 at 10:05 am


Categories: Tenant News

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According to new research, international students are finding it preferable to live in shared accommodation, as a way to combat loneliness whilst studying in the UK.

Many students travel from across the world to the UK in order to study for their further education. Recent research from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) has revealed a 3.4% increase in the number of EU students applying to study at British universities. Numbers rose by 20% for applicants from China, 36% for India and 52% for students applying from Mexico.

New figures from Housing Hand, the UK guarantor service, show that, over the last 12 months, there has been an increasing amount of guarantor applications for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) with between 3-5 bedrooms and shared kitchen and bathroom facilities.

Housing Hand believe that more international students are making the decision to move into shared accommodation, as a way to make friends more quickly and avoid feeling alone. A recent report from the BBC adds to this conclusion, with data stating that three quarters of 18 to 34-year-olds in Britain say that they feel lonely.

Jeremy Robinson, Managing Director of Housing Hand commented: “Many international students opt to live initially in shared accommodation, so they have time to make some friends and then move to a flat to share, in their subsequent years at university. It can be very daunting starting student life in a new country and we have helped thousands find their first property with our UK guarantor service.

“Before international students make an application for rental accommodation, it’s important they carry out some research into the areas around the university and potential places to live.  Ensuring there are good transport links to the campus is vital if the accommodation is not within walking distance.  The closer students live to a university, the higher the rent prices.

“If students plan to walk to the campus, they need to make sure they have checked the safety and security of their walking route. They should avoid poorly lit, isolated areas and stick to main roads that have good street lighting.

Luxury Student Accommodation on the Rise, but can Anyone Afford It?

Published On: October 25, 2017 at 8:59 am


Categories: Property News

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Gone are the days of basic bedrooms, dodgy dorms and awful apartments. Nowadays, students can look forward to a new breed of luxury student accommodation – kitted out with flat-screen TVs, en-suite bathrooms, and access to communal cinemas and gyms – but can anyone afford it?

In the middle of a student accommodation crisis, it is being questioned whether students can really afford these new facilities.

Prices for luxury student accommodation in London can range from £170 per week for a standard twin (double bed, fitted wardrobes and en-suite) to £369 per week for an ultra studio (double bed, communal area and en-suite). These prices are equivalent to £680 and £1,476 a month respectively.

Luxury Student Accommodation on the Rise, but can Anyone Afford It?

Luxury Student Accommodation on the Rise, but can Anyone Afford It?

Whilst investment into student developments is on the rise, as property investors try to cash in on high demand from university students, it seems that some of the latest luxury student accommodation blocks are far out of reach.

Last year, over £4.5 billion worth of student accommodation (68,000+ beds) were traded between property investors – this is projected to increase to £5.3 billion by the end of 2017.

Student accommodation is considered low risk for investors, who are safe in the knowledge that there is a guaranteed income from students, as higher education is projected to grow by the end of the decade., however, believes that relying on private developers to tackle the accommodation crisis means that the new supply of beds will target the most affluent, rather than the majority of, students.

Danielle Cullen, the Managing Director of, says: “The emergence of luxury student accommodation isn’t serving the majority of students. Whilst there is demand for this type of luxury accommodation, and a handful of students are willing to pay the higher prices, the new wave of housing is just too expensive for most.

“Students aren’t asking for much when looking for somewhere to live. They just want somewhere with a decent sized bedroom, a double bed and good internet. They want affordable prices – they don’t need dishwashers, en-suite bedrooms or even onsite gyms. We need to see development of affordable student housing in populated areas, offering a good quality of living, close to universities.”

She continues: “Whilst the headlines in recent years have focused on the impact of £9,250 annual fees for degree courses, the cost of student accommodation has been soaring. This is thanks to a combination of factors; driven partly by universities, partly by developers and partly by students themselves.

“Plenty of universities, students and landlords are eager to point the finger at private developers when it comes to rising accommodation costs. When it comes down to it though, universities have allowed for the privatisation of accommodation. Universities have sold off old stock to investors, and have even invested the money themselves in less affordable accommodation, which has resulted in higher rental costs across the board.”

She concludes: “If we really want to attract people into higher education, we can’t turn student accommodation into a reserve for the wealthy.”

If you’re a student landlord, how are you responding to the accommodation crisis?

New Student Developments are Soaring Across the UK

Published On: October 25, 2017 at 8:06 am


Categories: Property News

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The number of new student developments is soaring across the UK, as accommodation providers attempt to meet the rising levels of students forecast to study here over the next ten years.

According to recent research by Savills, Bath is the UK’s top hotspot for student developments, due to strong demand, high occupancy levels, solid rents and good prospects for rental growth.

New Student Developments are Soaring Across the UK

New Student Developments are Soaring Across the UK

In second position is Birmingham, followed by Brighton, Bristol, Edinburgh and Exeter. This year saw three new locations move into the top ten, including Exeter, Guildford and Leeds.

Top ten student developments hotspots

  1. Bath
  2. Birmingham
  3. Brighton
  4. Bristol
  5. Edinburgh
  6. Exeter
  7. Guildford
  8. Leeds
  9. London
  10. Manchester

The London market represents the largest city in the UK for student developments. According to JLL, London’s full-time student population is expected to rise by 50% over the next decade, which will exacerbate the existing shortfall in student housing supply.

Savills reports that investment in student developments is set to reach £5.3 billion in 2017 – up by 17% on 2016 – as investor confidence returns following the EU referendum.

For landlords, the top ten list above highlights the key locations for those considering an investment into student developments.

Jeremy Robinson, the Managing Director of Housing Hand – a secured and reliable insured UK guarantor service for students and working professionals – comments: Just this month, the University of Brighton was granted planning permission for a new student accommodation project for £60-80m, which will see the development of 804 rooms in two towers, with construction due to be completed by September 2019.

“These new developments are popping up all over the UK and are good news for students. Historically, many have found it difficult to find affordable accommodation close to universities and have had to opt for purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA). Typically, rents are high in this type of accommodation, although the spec is high, which proves very attractive to international students.”

He continues: “According to Savills research, the UK attracted 112,000 full-time students from the EU and 285,000 from other countries last year, making up just under 23% of the full-time student population. These students contribute £25 billion [Universities UK] to the UK economy each year through tuition fees and other spending, such as accommodation and services.

“Forecasts show that international student numbers are to rise by 6% per year over the next three years. University applications from Chinese students have almost doubled over the last decade, to 14,000 in 2016. With the sterling–yuan exchange rate 8% lower than it was before the EU referendum, this growth is expected to continue.”

Why First-Year Students are Shunning University Halls

Published On: October 18, 2017 at 10:13 am


Categories: Property News

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A growing number of first-year students are opting for private, more luxurious student accommodation, rather than the traditional halls of residence, according to accommodation provider Collegiate AC.

Why First-Year Students are Shunning University Halls

Why First-Year Students are Shunning University Halls

The firm’s figures show that first-year students are increasingly shunning university halls in favour of more luxurious private student accommodation.

The CEO of Collegiate AC, Heriberto Cuanalo, says: “Today’s freshers have more choice than ever before when it comes to student pads. They are making the most of that choice by opting for alternatives to university halls. The image of the university lifestyle has changed dramatically over the past decade or so, and university halls are no longer in line with what students demand as part of their experience, so they’re voting with their feet.”

Collegiate AC’s data shows that first-year students accounted for 20.19% of its residents back in 2015/16. That figure rose to 21.66% in 2016/17 and to 22.06% in 2017/18. The proportion of freshers opting for private pads is rising slowly but steadily, year-on-year.

So why is this happening? First-year students are increasingly expecting a wide range of features from their accommodation. Not only do students now want en-suites in their rooms, but private fitness centres, club lounges, concierge services and dedicated study zones are also in high demand.

“Part of what makes the appeal of accommodation like this so strong is the blend of private space and outstanding social spaces,” explains Cuanalo. “Tuition fees nowadays mean that students have to pay a great deal of money in order to attend university, so it’s not surprising that they want to make the most out of every minute of that experience.”

Many purpose-built accommodation providers are also using the location of their sites to tempt first-year students away from university halls. Sites are not only well located for the university, but also for pedestrian access to the city centre – something that many university halls lack.

Cuanalo comments: “With location as well, it’s about going over and above that which is offered by traditional university accommodation. Most first-years are excited to experience all that their new town or city has to offer, and that means shopping, eating and socialising in the city centre. The more conveniently a property is located for this, the better.”

With demand for luxury student accommodation continuing to grow, there’s an opportunity for landlords to cater to the needs of first-year students with each new academic year – perhaps a new investment option is on the horizon!

Student Rents Unchanged for Second Year Running

Published On: September 25, 2017 at 9:08 am


Categories: Property News

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Private student rents have remained at an average of £100-£119 per week for the second year running, according to an annual report into student accommodation compiled by Glide Utilities, the student utilities and service provider.

The What Students Seek report shows that accommodation represents the second biggest outlay for students during their studies, behind fees. The majority (72%) of student rents are between £80-£139 per week. However, university locality creates some variance, with 15% of London students paying over £200 a week, while 69% of student rents in the North East are less than £90 per week.

Student Rents Unchanged for Second Year Running

Student Rents Unchanged for Second Year Running

Almost half (45%) of students surveyed said that their accommodation offers good value for money, but 36% disagree, suggesting that, while student rents remain static, landlords need to understand students better to attract and retain the best tenants; a growing concern given the continued increase of modern student developments on the market.

The annual What Students Seek report uncovers what students look for when it comes to their accommodation, to unveil common themes that could help landlords improve the market appeal of their properties.

When it comes to house shares, 39% of students currently share with five or more people. However, when asked how many people they’d ideally like to live with, almost half (48%) indicated that they’d like to share with just two people or fewer in their next property.

And it appears that a television isn’t going to sway students into renting a property – the majority (60%) rated having a TV as the least important factor when choosing accommodation. After cost, a fast broadband connection is by far the most important factor for students, followed by good storage space, rent inclusive of bills and double beds.

Positively, the majority of students (57%) are happy with the way their property is managed. Nevertheless, almost a quarter (23%) weren’t pleased, with the following issues causing the most problems: lack of response on maintenance issues (37%); poor upkeep of the property (30%); and lack of communication (28%).

One way that landlords could please their tenants is to include bills in the rent, which three quarters of students said was essential or quite important when considering a property.

You could even go the extra mile and offer cash or a non-cash incentive to students, which have been given to one in 20 students. Their landlord had even taken out 2% of students for a drink!

The report also highlighted the best university cities for landlords to invest in, based on overall tenant satisfaction ratings and annual yields.

Although there are great investment opportunities across the UK, cities in the North East consistently rate highly for both annual yields and tenant satisfaction, with properties in Middlesbrough delivering a 16.1% annual return and 82% satisfaction rating. Durham and Sunderland followed close behind.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the scale, London rated lowest, with an average annual yield of just 2.7% and a 76% satisfaction rating.

Outside of student rents, the report also pointed to a decline in the infamous student social life. When asked how respondents funded their social lives, almost one in five (17%) admitted that they didn’t have one. Despite this, over a third still rated the proximity to bars and clubs as an important factor when choosing accommodation.

The CEO of Glide Utilities, James Villarreal, comments: “It’s good news for students that private rental costs remain static, especially since the price of living in halls of residence continues to rise. However, it’s very likely that costs will rise moving forward, as the ban of tenant fees will inevitably get passed through to the price of the rent. Therefore, landlords and agents can offer students greater value for money by offering bills included, and ensuring that properties are well maintained and efficiently managed.”

High-end student accommodation demand rising

Published On: September 19, 2017 at 10:15 am


Categories: Property News

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With the new academic year for higher education students starting for many this week, a new report suggests global demand from academics looking to study in the UK is set to rise overall by 2020.

It is projected that there will be an increase of 870,000 higher education students, giving a real boost to high end accommodation in university cities.

Student Demand

While UK student numbers have stabilised, the number of international students are set to rise sharply during the next decade. Previously, the provision of high quality student accommodation was the responsibility of the universities. However, in recent years, most new accommodation has been provided by private investors and developers.

Savills reports that investment in student accommodation in Britain has risen by 17% year-on-year. It is predicted that £5.3bn will be invested in purpose-built student accommodation by the conclusion of 2017, in comparison to £4.5bn last year.

International students can prove highly profitable for landlords and letting agents, with many prepared to pay greater rents for superior quality homes. In additional, international students are great for the UK economy- generating more than £25bn and providing a substantial boost to regional jobs and local businesses.

However, UK guarantor service Housing Hand suggests that one of the largest problems that international students face when renting a property is the lack of a UK guarantor.

High-end student accommodation demand rising

High-end student accommodation demand rising


Jeremy Robinson, Managing Director of Housing Hand, noted: ‘This is a huge worry for students who are not able to pay 6-12 months in advance to secure their rental property. However, students who are unable to provide a quality UK guarantor can, provided they pass the Housing Hand application process, purchase our guarantor service.’

‘The good news for landlords and letting agents is they can access the huge potential market of international students and the previously too risky market of tenants, with poor credit history. We offer letting agents and tenants reduced financial risk and for both, a widening of what is available on the market.’[1]