Student housing: Crumbling demand, or constructive investment?


As this years’ A-level results are published, there has been a flurry of interest in national uptake of student placements at universities. According to reports issued by news agencies including the BBC, while the number of high grades for school leavers has risen, the number of placements fulfilled at universities has decreased. Thought to be in part due to the growing perception of value in vocational qualifications, high rental prices for students in conjunction with tuition fees is also thought to be a deterrent for today’s generation of potential university students.

Student accommodation is always in demand, and cost-effective solutions for housing in university cities and towns is highly sought after. Student populations boost local economies, and many students opt to remain in their university town following graduation – bringing skills and financial benefits to the area.

Capitalising upon the growing demand for student housing

Many of our clients include landlords and architects seeking out ever more cost-efficient solutions for safe housing to accommodate students and graduates. Rising rental prices and increased student costs, however, may often deter potential landlords from refurbishing properties into student accommodation. Similarly, cognizant of the limited budgets many students have while completing their degrees, construction firms may shy away from considering new builds specifically designed to accommodate the student market.

Is refurbishment and construction tailored for students still viable?

In short, yes. There will always be students, and all students require housing. These days, new builds are becoming increasingly cost-effective through solutions such as modular design, while refurbishment programmes can be swift, efficient and a positive return on investment.

In 2017, there were 1.6 million students undertaking undergraduate courses across the UK. The ongoing debate around tuition fees and the future of academia has created little consternation among today’s 18 – 21-year-olds, despite the media frenzy which follows sixth-form results publication. Similarly, even those young people who opt for vocational qualifications over the traditional academia degree find themselves requiring mid-term housing to enable them to access the course of their choice, nationally.

Considering joining the student housing market?

At WhiteSales, we have a number of clients who rely on us to support their student housing projects, whether this is for refurbished buildings or new design/build initiatives. We recommend early engagement to ensure that we provide you with the best possible advice, support and consultancy as you choose safe and sustainable solutions for maximising daylight, ventilation and safety. If you’re considering entering into the market for student accommodation, get in touch with us today and se how we may support you to maximise legislative compliance, efficiency and design.

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