Bricks and mortar for mortar boards – are student digs the best property investments in Britain?

3 April, 2017

The image that is likely to spring to mind when you think of prime property investment opportunities is of shimmering waterfront apartment complexes, not student halls of residence.

But research published recently by Savills shows that 51,150 student rooms in the UK attracted investment worth more than £4.3 billion from institutional investors last year.

A survey by Barbour ABI also found that contracts for the construction of student accommodation was worth more than those for the construction of care homes, housing association properties, local authority housing and sheltered housing combined.

The student sector now accounts for 11 per cent of all residential building in the UK.

Speaking to The Guardian, Wouter Onclin from the student housing think tank, Class of 2020, said: “There is so much money out there looking for a way into student housing.

“Throughout the financial crisis and the housing market crash, students still went to school. They [investors] see it as such a resilient market – no matter how bad the economy gets students will still rent rooms.”

According to Onclin one of the drivers of the growth in this market has been an increase in the number of wealthy international students coming to the UK.

He said: “They don’t want to come home to some damp room in a flatshare. The parents are very involved. They want to be sure their children are going to be living in a professionally-managed place.”

Link: Student digs in British giving first-class returns