Posts with tag: students

Can Purpose-Built Student Accommodation Survive after Brexit?

Published On: September 14, 2017 at 9:48 am


Categories: Property News

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As applications from EU students to UK universities drop for the first time in six years, an excess of rooms in multi-million pound purpose-built student accommodation blocks is becoming apparent.

Over the past decade, expectations from student housing have slowly shifted from the bare minimum to students wanting much more from their accommodation providers. Onsite gyms and cinemas, en-suite bathrooms, and concierge services are often what students want – a long way away rom the basic bedsits students were once accustomed to.

In recent years, investors have spotted the shift in requirements and have increasingly turned their attention to more purpose-built student accommodation, predominantly located in city centres.

According to the latest research, £5.8 billion was pumped into the student property sector last year, while private investment has continued to grow across the UK. Investor demand for student accommodation has continued to increase, even following the Brexit vote; £3.1 billion worth of student halls of residence were sold to property investors – more than double the amount traded in 2013 and 2014.

Can Purpose-Built Student Accommodation Survive after Brexit?

Can Purpose-Built Student Accommodation Survive after Brexit?

It’s easy to see why investors, particularly from overseas, are ploughing billions of pounds into student accommodation in the UK. With average student rents in London now at £226 per week – up by 2% on last year – and £146.73 across the UK, investors are receiving healthy investment returns, and it seems that rent prices are set to continue rising.

The Managing Director of, Danielle Cullen, says: “It’s great to see another year of strong investment into student property in the UK, but how well it will continue to grow post-Brexit is now a bit of a grey area.

“Compared to student houses, purpose-built blocks are a more viable option for densely populated areas where there’s limited space. Perfect for students wanting to live in the centre of town, saving them time and money travelling, subsequently reflected in a higher rental price.”

She continues: “Generally, students want the ease of living in high-quality accommodation which already is inclusive of bills, has plenty of amenities and close to the centre of town. Everything that these student accommodation blocks offer makes a difference to practicality, something that was very new and desirable when they were first introduced.”

Investment into purpose-built student accommodation was considered low risk prior to the Brexit vote, as investors were safe in the knowledge that student blocks had guaranteed incomes and higher education applications were set to grow over the coming years.

However, following the Brexit vote last year, applications to UK universities have fallen for the first time since 2012, when tuition fees were increased. As of June, EU applications fell by 5%, from 51,850 to 49,250, which could have a big impact on student accommodation blocks, as property managers are struggling to fill them to capacity.

Cullen explains: “In our experience, we’ve found that overseas students generally opt more for purpose-built student accommodation over private properties. They’re travelling hundreds of miles to study away from home, often to a country they have never been to. They like to have the extra support on offer through these types of residences, which usually have 24-hour security and full-time receptions. The fall in international university applications could dent the pockets of both the investors and the operators, as they could potentially struggle to fill the rooms.

“Falls in student numbers inevitably means an excess supply of housing, and it looks set to continue for quite a number of years. The drop in demand is good for competition, and could drive down the price of accommodation in the short term, but the long-term effects on the UK student housing sector could be damaging. We could see a fall in investment in the future, as investors opt to capitalise on growing markets elsewhere. This could also potentially mean less concentration on the continued development of already built blocks, as concentration turns more to maintaining cash flow rather than improving services.”

While Brexit is not the sole contributor to the decline in EU student applications, the uncertainty of how the UK will deal with overseas students post-Brexit is putting off some young people.

So far, little has been mentioned on how companies in the student sector will deal with overseas students post-Brexit. The Students Loan Company has made no announcements on whether EU students will be eligible to receive grants, and have so far only made reference to students entering the 2017/18 academic year.

However, Jo Johnson, the Minister of State for Universities and Science, has announced a hopeful agreement with the EU: “There are obviously big discussions to be had with our European partners, and I look forward to working with the sector to ensure its voice is fully represented and that it continues to go from strength to strength.”

No word has been heard from the Government on how UK higher education will work with the EU following Brexit.

Cullen concludes: “How well will student accommodation survive a post-Brexit UK? That all rests on whether the Government can make the right deals with the EU before the deadline.

“We’re all still waiting in the dark, which is increasingly worrying for the future of our higher educational system. The UK needs to remain an attractive choice for not just EU students, but international students, so we’re attracting the brightest and best minds.

“It’s good to see that there are murmurs that there will be a partnership in place, but we need to start pushing for agreements. We need more than just assurances, we need signed agreements and guarantees.”

Where are the best University locations for buy-to-let investment?

Published On: August 21, 2017 at 9:09 am


Categories: Landlord News

Tags: ,,,

Interesting new research conducted by online estate agent has assessed the top 50 universities in the UK, in terms of providing the most affordable options for those looking to get a foot on the student buy-to-let ladder.

In addition, the agent looked at which University towns represent the best investment in the long-term, based on the rental yield of a property in that region. Finally, eMoov looked at which lender provides the most affordable options that came in both top 10 tables – offering both an affordable price tag and high rental yield.


Within the top 50 universities assessed by the investigation, the average house price is £318,267, with the average stamp duty cost reaching £17,476.

The best university town for making a first-step on the student buy-to-let ladder is Durham, with an average house price of only £102,347 and stamp duty cost of £3,070.

When taking additional stamp duty costs into account, the rest of the top ten locations based on affordability is:

  • Dundee University – £122,317
  • Queen’s University, Belfast – £123,961
  • Glasgow University – £127,317
  • Nottingham University – £137,376
  • Swansea University – £144,888
  • Keele University – £150,198
  • Lancaster University – £153,630
  • Sheffield University – £157,045
  • Derby University – £157,253
Where are the best University locations for buy-to-let investment?

Where are the best University locations for buy-to-let investment?


In terms of rental yields, rather than the initial cost of getting onto the student buy-to-let ladder, the average return was found to be 5.51%. The average yearly rent has reached £15,822.

Nottingham University was found to be the number one buy-to-let option, with an average house price of £133,215 and average annual rent of £11,400. Nottingham offers a rental yield of 8.56%.

The rest of the top ten in terms of yields was found to be:

  • Leeds University – 7.80%
  • Queen’s Belfast – 7.50%
  • Coventry University – 7.43%
  • Glasgow University – 7.31%
  • Manchester University – 7.16%
  • Swansea University – 7.08%
  • Birmingham University – 6.82%
  • Aston University – 6.82%
  • Portsmouth University – 6.59%

For the best of both worlds, Nottingham University, Queen’s Belfast, Glasgow University and Swansea University offer the best investment options for both affordability and yields.


Russell Quirk, founder and CEO of, observed: ‘“Despite the buy-to-let market receiving a bit of a kicking over the last year, it still remains a very lucrative business and one that is only marginally soured by the additional 3% in stamp duty tax.

The presence of a top university nearby is one way of ensuring a consistent stream of income to sweeten the recent changes in buy-to-let dis-incentivization. What’s more, the UK has an abundance of top universities spread far and wide and so it provides a whole host of more affordable options for getting on the buy-to-let ladder, other than the usual go to option of an over inflated London market.

With the likes of Durham, Nottingham and more providing much lower costs for that first foot on the ladder but equally as appealing rental yields, a buy-to-let in a university town can be a very good investment indeed.’[1]






Insured Guarantor Service for Students and Professionals Expands

Published On: July 20, 2017 at 8:21 am


Categories: Property News

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Insured Guarantor Service for Students and Professionals Expands

Insured Guarantor Service for Students and Professionals Expands

Housing Hand, the UK’s only secured and reliably insured guarantor service for students and working professionals from the UK or abroad, is expanding internationally to Europe, Asia and the Far East.

The firm has recently launched in India, with a base in New Delhi, and aims to expand exposure in the region. Housing Hand is hoping to increase the number of Indian students and professionals moving to the UK using its guarantor service.

The company has also formed a partnership with 51Offer in China – the largest firm working with Chinese students coming to UK universities. A formal partnership agreement was signed in Shanghai and Housing Hand is working closely with 51Offer to further expand the brand in China.

The Managing Director of Housing Hand, Jeremy Robinson, comments on the expansion: “We currently work with many international students who have begun their study in the UK. Our partnerships with UK and international accommodation providers will help to grow the volume of applicants that are looking to secure a UK guarantor, before reaching the UK.

“We have met with many universities and accommodation providers who are keen to reduce their financial risk and widen the pool of potential tenants. By expanding internationally, we can further add to the secure and risk-free tenants we hand over to accommodation providers.”

He continues: “We are looking to become the first international guarantor service, with plans to launch in Ireland later this year, followed by a rollout to France in early 2018 and America in 2018/2019.

“The rental markets overseas are very different from the UK, and there are obvious legal and operational challenges ahead of us. However, we see real demand for our service in France, as thousands of UK nationals, both students and professionals, are renting there.”

Are you a student landlord? If so, you may find that this insured guarantor service is suitable for your tenants, either UK nationals or overseas students. It is worth looking into ahead of the new academic year.

Tuition fees and Brexit are harming student rental market

Published On: July 17, 2017 at 10:11 am


Categories: Property News

Tags: ,,,,

A lettings agency specialising in the student sector believes that the fall in the number of applications for higher education in the UK is threatening to turn the shortage of student accommodation into a surplus.

Despite the university academic year starting in two months, believe landlords are still trying to attract tenants in a number of key areas.


For example, demand for student properties in Exeter is at just 62%, followed by Reading and Bath, where demand stands at 52%.

In all, the number of people applying for a higher education course in Britain this year has slipped by over 25,000 – or 4% – compared to the same period last year.

This comes after the announcement that university tuition fees are to rise from £9,000 to £9,250 this year. In addition, loan interest rates are to increase by 1.5%, from 4.6% to 6.1%.

What’s more, the number of EU students looking to enter higher education in the UK has fallen by 5%, from 51,850 to 49,250.

As a result, says that its research uncovers a ‘drastic shift from an undersupply in previous months.’

Tuition fees and Brexit are harming student rental market

Tuition fees and Brexit are harming student rental market


Danielle Cullen, Managing Director at, noted: ‘Landlords are starting to feel the strain of finding tenants for the next academic year, as many still have rooms left to let. I personally feel the blame sits firmly on decisions made by our government. We’re now seeing supply for student properties outgrowing demand in some areas, which could spell a huge problem for the student lettings market and the future of private student landlords.’[1]

‘Whilst the fees and interest are having an impact on British applications, it seems that post-Brexit, some EU students don’t want to study in the UK. A year on, there’s still uncertainty for EU students. Naturally, they’re worried about how it could affect them and they’re not applying to our higher educational system as a result,’ Cullen concluded.[1]


Which Political Party will Mostly Benefit Student Tenants?

As the UK prepares to go to the polls once again, student tenants and landlords alike will be considering which political party to vote for. has assessed the many morals, manifestos and tactics from the three main political parties to guide those in the student lettings market on who to vote for to get the best deal.

A lot has happened since Britain voted to leave the EU last year: David Cameron has stepped down as Prime Minister; Theresa May has taken over and triggered Article 50; and now Britain is preparing for another General Election.

Since May announced the snap General Election to be held on 8th June, party campaigners have been fighting for votes. But finding the right party to benefit student tenants and the future of the private rental sector can be confusing.

Last year, 18-24-year-olds overwhelmingly voted to remain in the EU (71%), but many things have changed since then.

Who should student tenants and their landlords vote for? StudentTenant has investigated the pledges of the top three political parties:


Private rental sector reform:

  • Reduce rents and increase security for tenants renting from private landlords.
  • Regulate the rental sector to stop substandard accommodation and unfair charges from lettings.
Which Political Party will Mostly Benefit Student Tenants?

Which Political Party will Mostly Benefit Student Tenants?

University tuition fees:

  • Last year, Jeremy Corbyn campaigned to abolish tuition fees by raising £10 billion in taxes from businesses and high earners.
  • 7% rise in National Insurance for those earning over £50,000.
  • 5% increase in Corporation Tax.

There has been no mention of tuition fees by Labour for the upcoming General Election.

Post-Brexit economy and business:

  • Long-term investment in the workplace – creating a high wage, highly skilled workforce to increase productivity and create more job opportunities for young people.


Private rental sector reform:

  • Encourage housing associations and local authorities to increase the supply of rental properties.
  • Attract investors into residential development, including homes for rent.

University tuition fees:

  • Previously raised the tuition fees to £9,000 under the coalition government and has recently increased by a further £250 without an announcement from the Department of Education.

Post-Brexit economy and business:

  • Investment into smaller businesses and enterprises, to create 1.9m new job opportunities for young people.
  • Cut Corporation Tax to help companies invest internally and grow, to create more job opportunities.

Liberal Democrats

Private rental sector reform:

University tuition fees:

  • Last year, the Liberal Democrats announced that they would force a vote by MPs in a bid to stop raising the current £9,000 limit.

There has been no mention of tuition fees by the Liberal Democrats for the upcoming General Election.

Post-Brexit economy and business:

  • Build a sustainable economy for the future by supporting small businesses and new business models.

Danielle Cullen, the Managing Director of StudentTenant, comments: “Educating young people about the upcoming General Election and what each political party is offering them is incredibly important to the future of Britain. We’re edging ever closer towards Brexit, and young people must make an informed decision on who they should vote for, and actually make the effort to go out and put a cross in the box.

“Looking into specific housing, university and post-Brexit economy pledges from political parties, it’s clear that some parties are much more beneficial to the student demographic than others. However, it is also important to think about life beyond university, and the job market for young people and housing issues for young professionals. If we can help some people in more than just finding a student property by actually helping them shape their future, I will be pleased.”

She continues: “A lot is changing in the student sector, particularly in the private housing market, with the announcement that the Government is planning to abolish letting agency fees. It’s encouraging to see that the Government is finally putting in place structured policies to help the rental market, but it’s so important to understand more about the logistics of how this will affect young individuals.

“The current Tory plans leave an area of uncertainty in who is going to foot the bill. Property specialists are predicting that landlords will seek to recoup the costs from rising rents, eventually absorbing the agency costs. We could see some landlords quit the rental market when faced with absorbing these extra costs which could be problematic for the student rental market in particular.”

Will the student rental market be impacted by Brexit?

Published On: March 21, 2017 at 9:35 am


Categories: Property News

Tags: ,,,,

Yesterday saw prime minister Theresa May announce that Article 50 will officially be triggered next week.

This, according to, is creating huge uncertainty surrounding EU students and the student market in Britain.


With the UK preparing for life outside of the European Union, head of Danielle Cullen, has raised concern for EU students in Britain, alongside those who have invested in the market.

During the last academic year, 1.72m students were studying for academic degrees at UK universities. 120,000 of these students were from European countries.

It is looking likely that students from outside of the UK will have to apply for a student visa to gain access to higher education in Britain.

Cullen noted: ‘There’s undoubtedly a period of uncertainty ahead for UK higher education post-Brexit. Naturally, EU students, student landlords and UK universities are worried about the impending changes, and how they will be affected by them.’[1]

Will the student rental market be impacted by Brexit?

Will the student rental market be impacted by Brexit?

“From what we can currently deduce, EU students will be treated in the same way as international students. They’re likely to be required to complete a complex study visa to access our educational system. Not only is this another hoop that EU students will have to jump through, it may also mean tuition fees could rise for them,’ she continued.[1]


As such, Cullen is worried that there could be a large decline in the number of EU students studying in the UK following Brexit. This of course would have a detrimental impact on students, landlords and overall rental demand.

Concluding, Cullen said: ‘Experts are predicting a fall in applications to universities from EU students with the impending changes, and landlords will be feeling the strain. We could well see supply outgrow demand for student properties as we see fewer students at universities.’[1]