Student accommodation forecast to expand significantly

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With more students attending Britain’s universities, there is an increasing demand for student accommodation. reported this month that the Crossland Property Group is creating 3,228 new student bed spaces across its 10 development sites. It aims to build a further 6,000 new student beds by 2021.

Crossland specialises in building large student accommodation blocks. These type of expensive developments are beyond the budget of smaller investors, but there are plenty of opportunities for landlords to help meet the increasing demand for student accommodation. Many landlords are benefiting by converting large houses to houses of multiple occupancy (HMO) for use by student tenants.

There are approximately 1.7 million full-time students studying in the UK, an increase of 2.6% on the previous year. According to UCAS, there are 61,440 applicants for courses starting in Autumn 2018, an increase of 7% in applications for the 2017/2018 academic year. The majority of students live away from their home.

There is demand for the luxury purpose-built accommodation that Crossland supply, but these have high rents. Many students are looking for cheaper accommodation which private landlords can supply in the form of HMOs. There are many lenders who can provide commercial mortgages for landlords to buy student houses, and loans are available to convert existing large houses into HMO property.

Student property is available for investors in major university cities such as London, Liverpool and Manchester. What are referred to as secondary university towns, with smaller student populations, have also seen increased interest from property investors entering the student accommodation market.

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