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Fewer student buy to lets? Big rise in purpose-built accommodation reported

There’s been a big rise in the volume of purpose-built student accommodation in the UK, suggesting that the market may be getting tighter for the traditional individually-owned buy to lets aimed at student tenants.

Knight Frank reports that some 29,000 purpose-built student bedrooms are due to be completed across the UK by the start of the 2019/20 academic year - up 25 per cent from the 23,000 reported in 2017/18. 

The agency’s figures are based on an analysis of pipeline development data across more than 60 university towns and cities in the UK 


“In total, these new additions will lift the overall number of purpose-built student bed spaces by 5.1 per cent to over 600,000. A further 14,000 bedrooms are under construction or in planning and due to be delivered in during the 2020 and 2021 academic years, although this total may rise as new applications are approved” reports the agency’s global head of student property, James Pullan.

He says the majority of purpose-built rooms are operated by universities directly, accounting for 64 per cent of the current stock: but he says that of this, 38 per cent is actually privately owned and leased back to universities. However, privately owned in this case refers to developers and investment institutions, rather than ‘old school’ buy to let individuals.

Pullan says private developers will build 82 per cent of the total new student beds due to be completed by 2021, and nearly 90 per cent of the beds due to be built for the 2019/20 academic year. 

  • S l
    • S l
    • 30 January 2019 18:06 PM

    considering that its commercial, are they cover by the rules governing prs? with increasing rules controlling and costing landlords and lettings huge costs and lack of profit, now we have to deal with competition from the commercial student housing.


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