There has in the last couple of years, been considerable investment in the student accommodation sector which leads to the obvious question, is it still a good idea to invest on this area of the market? Student accommodation has been extremely popular as it is really the evolvement of one area of the buy to let market and so existing investors have felt comfortable with investing this asset class. With the sale of the individual student rooms or properties this new asset class has meant investing in property is attractive to more people as the cost is relatively low and can offer fully managed “hands off” investments .
Most of these properties are solely for the use of students and therefore it is vital to have a good understanding of the area surrounding the project. Student numbers are of course important but it is also important to look at other factors such as the reputation of the university and whether it is attracting investment for research projects. Does the university have highly regarded lecturers and is it their intention or has there been the expansion and improvement of facilities that enables the university to compete in the student market by offering exciting and relevant degrees. In addition to this it is important to review existing stock and not just for quantity and also consider costings management companies etc.
Many universities and courses are oversubscribed and the decision by the government to uncap numbers for all universities by 2015 may lead to these popular and highly regarded courses being available to more students. This is encouraging development given that UCAS in its review of their statistics in January reported a 4% increase in those looking at higher education and also advised “an unprecedented 35% of 18 year olds from England have submitted a UCAS application this year.”
When looking at student properties It is still vital to consider each project on its merits and not to be swayed by headline returns without good research to see what will underpin the performance of the properties. Investment Property Consults are happy to assist with this and are able to offer both individual units and also complete developments and joint ventures schemes to suit the requirement of those looking to invest in student accommodation in the UK.