UK Real Estate Aspects

UK student apartments in a nutshell: types, trends and investment opportunities

Despite the current economic and political situation in the world, and especially in the market of raw materials, the interest in investing in abroad real estate remains fairly stable and even increasing. One of the most promising options for today investment in overseas property is the acquisition of student accommodation in the UK. It is in steady demand from tenants, it does not require large investments and has good yield.

No law gives the exact definition of what the student real estate is. This term came up from the sellers and developers, and it typically implies a small area housing of varying quality, localised in cities with a high concentration of large institutions; such objects are often located in close proximity to universities or college campuses. And the most common use of student property accounts for the countries with a high level of education – the US, UK, Germany and France. But, perhaps, the first place in this list still belongs to Albion, which is not only one of the biggest markets of education, but also attracts the largest share of foreign students. English education is considered to be very prestigious and gives amazing professional opportunities after graduation.

In 2013, the number of students in the UK increased by 3.5% (compared with the previous year) and amounted to 2,584,027. And according to HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency), from 2000 to 2012 the number of students in universities and colleges has increased from 1,948,135 to 2,496,6645 people (or about 1.5 million), approximately 435.235 of which were non-UK residents. These figures, of course, attract private investors, especially given the accessibility of this method: a decade earlier it was only available to large funds and banks; now initially you only need £5,000 to join the project, plus cover the legal expenses on conveyance solicitors.

In the UK student property can be divided into two types. The first one represents small apartments or studios in the ordinary apartment buildings, located within walking distance from the university, as well as multi-room apartments and houses. Rather than providing these objects for rent by families of several individuals, they are divided into rooms and leased to students. The second type of student housing represents special facilities: this may be new projects near the university and rebuilt buildings that were previously used for another purpose. In practice, you can find very decent student apartments, reconstructed from schools, hospices, and even old mills.

Specially built complexes for students are called the Purpose Built Student Housing (PBSH). They typically represent modern gated complexes with residential premises and associated infrastructure: sport and fitness centers, clubs, entertainment, shared lounges, kitchens, dining rooms, laundries and classrooms equipped with everything necessary for effective studying. The residential units of such facilities have a small area largely ranging from 14 to 20 m2, and studio areas larger than 18 m2. The rooms usually have furniture, as well as a private shower, toilet and a small kitchen area. In fact, we are talking about nothing, but very comfortable, luxury class dormitory.