Posts with tag: students

Rental growth soaring in purpose-built student accommodation

Published On: February 7, 2017 at 10:49 am


Categories: Property News

Tags: ,,,

There has been a substantial rise in the number of students residing in the private rental sector during recent years. Moreover, the number of academics living in private sector purpose-built student accommodation in Britain has also risen significantly.

Recent figures provided by Knight Frank indicate that the number of students living in these purpose-built properties has more than doubled during the last ten years. As such, it is one of the few asset classes to deliver positive rental growth in every year during the last decade.


The average weekly rent for en-suite accommodation in Britain has risen from £120 to £143 in the last five years. This growth has been underpinned by an annual rise in rents, alongside the organic growth being seen in the sector.

This growth includes the introduction of higher-spec student accommodation into the market, which goes a long way in explaining why the student property market remains attractive to investors.

At present, the private sector purpose-built student accommodation market is included of assets totalling an estimated value of £42.3bn. This includes both private sector and university maintained accommodation of this nature.

Based on the present level of investment and construction activity in the sector, this figure is expected to grow to £50bn by 2020.

Rental growth soaring in purpose-built student accommodation

Rental growth soaring in purpose-built student accommodation


James Pullan, head of student property at Knight Frank, observed: ‘The importance of higher education remains unaffected by the tumult of economic cycles.’[1]

This news comes after a new purpose-built student accommodation development in Sheffield was approved last week.

The accommodation, entitled Steel City, is set to cost around £20million pounds and will be situated next to the University of Sheffield’s Engineering Faculty.

Speaking on the development, Andrew Southern, chief executive of Southern Grove (who are leading the project), noted: ‘Securing planning permission for this scheme will enable us to create an exciting development that will break away from the traditional concept of student halls of residence. We are working in close collaboration with Axis Architecture, the masterminds behind this striking building and with Steel City we’ve put together a high-quality redevelopment that stiches a modern twist back into the traditional 19th century fabric of that area.’[2]






May Chooses Hard Brexit in Crucial Speech

Published On: January 18, 2017 at 9:37 am


Categories: Finance News

Tags: ,,,

The Prime Minister, Theresa May, has chosen a hard Brexit, according to the lead European Parliament negotiator on Britain’s exit from the EU, following her crucial speech yesterday.

Guy Verhofstadt insisted that the country has “chosen a hard Brexit”, after May warned European leaders that the UK is prepared to crash out of the EU if she cannot negotiate a reasonable exit deal.

The Prime Minister told EU counterparts that any attempt to inflict a punitive outcome on the UK would be an “act of calamitous self-harm”, as the country would then slash taxes to attract companies from across the globe. Her one-hour address intended to spell out the UK’s negotiating strategy.

Although May said that the UK could be the EU’s “best friend” if Article 50 talks go well, she said she is prepared to walk away.

“And while I am confident that this scenario need never arise – while I am sure a positive agreement can be reached – I am equally clear that no deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain,” she insisted.

May Chooses Hard Brexit in Crucial Speech

May Chooses Hard Brexit in Crucial Speech

Eurosceptic ministers and backbenchers were quick to praise May, although her remarks were met with criticism from Verhofstadt, who argued: “May’s clarity is welcome, but the days of UK cherry-picking are over.”

He also gave a tough response to May’s point about business: “Threatening to turn the UK into a deregulated tax haven will not only hurt British people, it is a counterproductive negotiating tactic.”

Verhofstadt urged the Prime Minister to remember the 48% of Britons who voted to remain in the EU.

Speaking at Lancaster House in London, May committed to give both Houses of Parliament a vote on the final Brexit deal, which caused the pound to soar, although Downing Street was clear that the alternative to a negotiated deal would be defaulting onto the higher tariffs of World Trade Organisation rules.

Setting out the Government’s 12 priorities for Brexit negotiations, May made it clear that the UK would:

  • Take back control of borders, arguing that record levels of migration had “put pressure on public services”
  • No longer be under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, as “we will not have truly left the European Union if we are not in control of our own laws”
  • “Explicitly rule out membership of the EU’s single market”, because it is incompatible with migration controls
  • Not stay in the customs union, but try to strike a separate deal as an “associate member” to make trading as “frictionless as possible”
  • Not be required to “contribute huge sums to the EU budget”, but simply pay towards specific programmes
  • Seek a “new, comprehensive, bold and ambitious free trade agreement” with the EU, and build trading relationships with countries beyond Europe as part of a “global Britain” strategy

The Prime Minister also said she wanted to secure the rights of the three million-plus EU citizens living in the UK, suggesting that “one or two” countries, thought to include Germany, had refused to negotiate an early agreement over the issue.

She said she would accept a phased process of implementation of the Brexit agreement after 2019, but not an unlimited transitional deal that could push Britain into “permanent political purgatory”.

Calling for unity in the UK, May said: “Because this is not a game or a time for opposition for opposition’s sake; it is a crucial and sensitive negotiation that will define the interests and the success of our country for many years to come. And it is vital that we maintain our discipline.”

So what will May’s hard Brexit strategy mean for the high number of European students living in the UK?

Danielle Cullen, the Managing Director of, warns: “There is great concern surrounding Theresa May’s comments on a hard Brexit today and leaving the single market, which includes the free movement of people.

“European students bring huge value to our economy and culture, and still no comment has been made on how they will be looked after. We just sincerely hope the Government reaches the early deal the Prime Minister proposes surrounding the rights of EU citizens living and studying in the UK.”

Government Must Do More for Those at the Start of the Property Cycle, Insists Student Platform

Published On: January 6, 2017 at 9:28 am


Categories: Property News

Tags: ,,,,,

The Government must do more for those at the start of the property cycle, particularly students, insists free-to-list student rentals platform,

While this week has brought good news for the property market, following announcements to build the first wave of Starter Homes and the development of 14 garden villages, StudentTenant believes that more must be done for those at the beginning of the property cycle, especially students living in the rental sector.

Government Must Do More for Those at the Start of the Property Cycle, Insists Student Platform

Government Must Do More for Those at the Start of the Property Cycle, Insists Student Platform

Over the past few years, investors have spent billions of pounds on student accommodation due to current shortages and high demand. Despite this, many campuses find themselves with an inadequate number of properties, warns the platform.

In addition, despite the huge spike in tuition fees in recent years and Britain’s departure from the EU softening interest from foreign students, UK universities continue to experience overwhelming levels of interest from prospective students.

But with a lack of suitable housing in the student rental sector to meet this demand, not only is the education of these students being hindered, as is their first experience in the property cycle, the firm states.

Danielle Cullen, the Managing Director of StudentTenant, says: “It is great news that new homes are being built for homebuyers in 2017, but we also have to address the burning issue in the rental sector.

“Many look at first time buyers as the start of the property lifecycle, but this just simply isn’t the case, especially for those that fall within the generation rent category, where homeownership may never be obtainable.”

She explains: “For many of us, going to college or university will be our first taste of the property lifecycle in the rental sector. Unfortunately, there is a high chance that this will leave a sour taste in the mouth, as many students struggle to find suitable accommodation.

“It is a shame that the rental sector in the UK is not a top priority on the Government’s agenda this year, because so many people across the nation depend on this form of housing. If they can’t manage to provide an appropriate level of affordable housing, they should at least ensure that there is an adequate rental sector to fall back on. Regulation of pricing in the sector would be a good start, particularly for students, who are forced to pay extortionate prices in areas of high demand.”

Landlords, if you provide housing for those at the start of the property cycle, remember to stick to the law and protect your tenants by providing safe, secure and good quality accommodation. Our guides explain all you need to know to be a responsible landlord: /guides/

Landlords, Prepare for the Rush of Students Looking for Homes

Published On: December 30, 2016 at 11:45 am


Categories: Landlord News

Tags: ,,,

Online student lettings platform has addressed the alarming problem faced by landlords and tenants every January – the frantic rush of students looking for homes for the following academic year.

Landlords, Prepare for the Rush of Students Looking for Homes

Landlords, Prepare for the Rush of Students Looking for Homes

As the majority of housing lists are released after Christmas, landlords and student tenants are forced to rush through the lettings process for the start of the autumn term.

By limiting the flow of housing and releasing it all at the same time, both landlords and students face an incredibly competitive market, warns StudentTenant. In addition, the process is not ideal for current tenants who constantly have students looking for homes coming through their properties.

And the competition at present is at its worst – StudentTenant recently revealed that some students have been forced to camp outside their universities due to a chronic shortage of accommodation. This ultimately feeds a vicious cycle, as first-year students are stuck without much choice for housing, due to the majority being accounted for months before by older students.

The firm believes that the solution to this pattern is to have ongoing properties available to students looking for homes, to minimise the pressure on finding accommodation. However, it is a common practice to begin searching after Christmas, with students under the impression that the best properties are the first to go.

StudentTenant warns that this whole process is disruptive to the main reason that students go to university – to study.

Landlords, it may be a good idea to wait until after the rush to put your student property on the market. As demand for student housing is consistently high, you are extremely unlikely to suffer a void period and will provide housing to those fearful that they’d missed out on a good property with a responsible landlord.

Danielle Cullen, the Managing Director of StudentTenant, comments: “StudentTenant always has a steady flow of housing options, and we ensure that students are aware of the legal implications involved with signing a letting agreement with friends. Regardless of the rationale behind this tradition, students always seem to return to university from the Christmas holidays to start frantically looking for and booking next year’s accommodation.

“We encourage students to be sensible – they should be confident in their group of friends and find a place that is comfortable. However, the best places do go first, and it has become a trend to see the second and third years, who have already developed strong bonds, showing more organisation as they look for housing.”

Demand for student accommodation exceeding stock

Published On: December 22, 2016 at 10:25 am


Categories: Landlord News

Tags: ,,,

A new survey has revealed that rents paid by students look certain to increase, due to a housing shortage in many key university cities in the UK.

Data released by student rentals platform has assessed the demand for property in locations around the top universities in Britain. It has revealed that many students beginning their studies struggle to find suitable living accommodation beforehand.

Student demand

Despite already being four months into the present academic year, many universities are still seeing heightened demand for student property.

Top of the class is the University of Exeter, with demand reaching 62%-the highest statistic for property demand surrounding a key University. Next come the University of Reading, the University of Bath and Bath Spa University, all with demands of 53%.

In addition, separate research conducted from revealed that student rents increased by 10% during the last twelve months. In fact, demand for student accommodation in some cities is so fierce that rent competitive pricing could leave students £600 worse off per annum, according to the study.

The University for the Creative Arts in Farnham ranks fourth in the list compiled by Demand for accommodation surrounding this university stands at 50%-with some first-year students forced to camp in the grounds as they couldn’t secure suitable digs!

The top-ten University locations where demand is exceeding demand are:

Ranking University Demand %
1st University of Exeter 62%
2nd University of Reading 53%
3rd University of Bath 53%
4th Bath Spa University 53%
5th University for the Creative Arts 50%
6th University of Roehampton 49%
7th Durham University 49%
8th University of Essex 43%
9th Lancaster University 42%
10th Royal Holloway, University of London 38%
Demand for student accommodation exceeding stock

Demand for student accommodation exceeding stock


Danielle Cullen, managing director of, said: ‘We feel that it is simply unacceptable that students, as they have in Farham, are forced to camp within the university campus due to a severe shortage of housing.’[1]

‘Housing for students should be a priority. These pupils have worked hard to prepare for their education and to arrive without a place to sleep is worrisome. With many universities still seeing high levels of demand for student property this far into the term, it doesn’t bode well for those looking to arrive next year,’ she added.[1]



Student Tenants Unimpressed with the Standard of Accommodation on Offer

Published On: November 2, 2016 at 11:57 am


Categories: Property News

Tags: ,,,,

Student tenants are unimpressed with the standard of accommodation being offered to them, according to a panel of judges at Property Week’s new Student Accommodation Awards.

The magazine has scrapped a category in its inaugural awards show for providers of student accommodation, after the judges – students – refused to offer the gong to any of the entrants.

The student tenants criticised institutional providers of student accommodation, such as private halls of residence, for charging too much, providing the wrong sort of accommodation, and putting their shareholders first.

They said they did not want to award a single one of the entrants.

The Student Accommodation Awards, organised by Property Week magazine and aimed at institutional providers rather than traditional student landlords, had a Student Experience category.

This category has now been scrapped, just weeks before the awards ceremony in central London, where other gongs will be handed out, despite the clear dissatisfaction from student tenants.

The event will also raise the question of build-to-rent investment in the private rental sector, which is being heavily backed by the Government.

The student judges wrote to the organiser of the event, which will be held early next month:

Dear Property Week,

We appreciate the opportunity given to us, as students, to judge the Student Experience category for the upcoming Student Accommodation Awards.

However, we regret to inform you that the panel could not come to a decision to award any of the entrants. 

Unfortunately, none of the entrants could demonstrate that they are meeting the urgent need of students to live in accommodation that will not force them into poverty.

Most entrants price their cheapest rooms above the national average of £146 per week, and certainly above a level which student maintenance loans will reasonably cover. Many charge rents of more than £300 per week.

Student Tenants Unimpressed with the Standard of Accommodation on Offer

Student Tenants Unimpressed with the Standard of Accommodation on Offer

One entrant is reported for having put disabled students at great risk of danger. Another charges hundreds of pounds to act as guarantor, profiting from the discrimination of migrants and the inability of poor estranged students to provide a guarantor. 

Another, in their application, puts shareholder satisfaction before student satisfaction and boasts of ‘£20m revenues’.

Students are not seeking luxury getaways or cinemas in our living rooms. We are not satisfied knowing our student debt is lining the pockets of millionaire shareholders. 

High rents are driving the social cleansing of education. Working class students are being priced out; unable to access higher education altogether, or forced to work long hours, disadvantaging the poorest.

We urge all providers to invest in affordable accommodation so that the future of higher education is open to all, regardless of parental income.

We urge all universities to cease the privatisation of accommodation, and to provide a guarantor service.

We urge the sector to lower profits, reduce rents and support the call for greater financial support for students in the form of universal living grants.

Unless all students have access to safe, affordable accommodation at every institution and the means to pay for it, there is no cause for celebration, nor the ability for us to award a for-profit sector failing so many of our peers.

Yours sincerely,

Student Accommodation Awards student judges 2016

A spokesperson for the Student Accommodation Awards responds to the letter: “The Student Experience award is aimed at recognising student accommodation schemes that have tangibly enhanced student life.

“We completely respect the decision of the judging panel not to make an award in this category. Developers and operators of student accommodation strive to produce the very best environment for students, but our student judges have sent a clear message that the industry needs to do better.

“In light of this, we have taken the decision to remove this category for this, our inaugural event, and review it for 2017.

“This is the first year of the Student Accommodation Awards, so the limited number of categories does not fully reflect the range of student accommodation provided by the industry.

“Next year, we will expand the awards categories and include a category for the best affordable student accommodation.

“We will continue to encourage the industry to raise its game and put the student experience at the centre of everything it does.”

One traditional landlord, Dr. Rosalind Beck, believes the student tenants have made an important point.

She explains: “As a licensed landlord with student housing in Cardiff, my rents average around £265 a month excluding bills, and around £330 a month including bills in traditional houseshares, some of which have lovely original features and are often spacious and characterful.

“I am flabbergasted at how these institutions now think they can charge these huge rents for their allegedly luxurious provision. As the students say, they can’t afford this luxury. They would prefer cheap and cheerful, and to not be saddled with enormous debts.”

She continues: “This is a truly awful development (misrepresented as an improvement) and will have extreme repercussions for the young people of this country.

“The problem is that the institutions may gain a monopoly, as many portfolio landlords, who provide the far more affordable traditional lets, will be driven out of business because of having to pay huge amounts of tax on their main cost, while the institutions continue to deduct finance costs as an allowable expense (which is normal business practice).

“To make matters worse, the students might not have taken into account the fact that there is also likely to be a knock-on effect, whereby the institutions also gain dominance in the young, professional let market, so they will have to shell out huge amounts of their salaries for years to come, thwarting any ambition to save a deposit to buy their own home and condemning them to all of the worry experienced by people facing a life in debt.”

She adds: “George Osborne stated that this fiscal attack on landlords would help first time buyers. We can all see how that was a lie.

“This Government-sponsored programme of handing institutions a monopoly in the market must be halted immediately.”

Do you rent to student tenants? If so, do you agree with their claims?