What To Look For When Investing in Student Property
We’ve spoken before about the potential returns possible in the student property rental market. Increasing demand and the drive towards superior living standards in the student community – to reflect a more modern (fee paying) academic experience – has led to the development of new, modern student accommodation across the UK, and opportunities for investors to see long-term, sustained growth.
However, as with all property investment, you need to do your homework before jumping in. For while there is money to be made in the burgeoning student property market, no investment is guaranteed and ill-informed investment, serves only to heighten that risk. This is why we advocate ensuring you do your research, liaise with market experts and understand all the nuances before you make any investment into student property, which will deliver the very best opportunity for profit.
Get to know the Higher Education Sector
Before you decide on a student property to invest in, we’d advise learning as much as you can about the sector itself. The higher education sector is no different to any other industry in that there will always be institutions that are performing better than their counterparts. Universities that are growing or ranked highly are likely to offer opportunities for investors through increasing demand.
One area, in particular, to pay attention to is any University with an increasing overseas intake. Foreign students play a huge part in the make up of UK universities and demand for suitable, quality accommodation will potentially be of high priority for young students arriving from abroad. For instance, the University of Sheffield has been ranked as one of the 100 most International Universities in the UK and recently developed new partnerships with Singapore and Malaysia. Will such a partnership mean higher levels of overseas students in need of accommodation? Quite possibly so.
All property investment will be influenced by location, and student accommodation is no different.
On a more general location point, look at the major University cities of the UK as a starting point. Across the country there are cities and towns that have, historically, been considered big university cities with a significant student population.
Liverpool, for instance, has THREE major universities within the city: University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University and Liverpool Hope University. Between them they comprise a student population in excess of 50,000 and growing, year on year.
With each institution charging the top rate of fees, and with the changing culture of student living, this may well point to high demand for quality accommodation in the city.
Drilling down a bit further on the point of location, there are also more local aspects to consider. Such as, whereabouts in the city is the accommodation located. Students will, invariably be looking to stay somewhere that is:
- Within easy access to their place of study
- Close to local entertainment facilities – bars, pubs, dining, cinema etc
- In a relatively safe environment
Finding student properties that tick these boxes can help ascertain longer term success.
There’s no doubt that the student property market represents a real opportunity for savvy investors to gain reliable and healthy returns on their output. Across all major student towns in the UK you will find new, modern complexes being developed to meet the new demand from today’s student population. And, by ensuring you do your research and seek out those properties in the right locations and offering the kind of facilities that student’s are search for, then this is a rental market with a bright, and profitable outlook.