Give student housing back to families, urges property firm

AFS Team·17 July 2013·3 min read
Give student housing back to families, urges property firm
Property consultants have come up with a controversial proposal to ease Britain’s housing shortage by moving students out of private shared houses into purpose-built accommodation.

The suggestion is councils, students and developers would all gain from the move.

• Councils would pick up extra council tax as families move back into homes converted into houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)
• Halls of residence developers can tap into student demand
• Students will live in purpose-built housing away from residential neighbourhoods

The net result, according to property consultancy Savills, is 66,000 shared student homes could be returned to the housing market, taking up the slack for house builders.

In some cities, this would represent up to two years of new build house supplies at the current rate of construction and ease housing shortages.

“We have identified a potential 66,000 properties that could be freed up for family housing. This would necessitate the creation of an additional 260,000 student beds across the country. Two thirds of this unlockable supply is in the top 25 towns and cities and would be equal to 1.8 years’ worth of recent supply but the scale varies by location,” says the report.

As examples, the report highlights what the proposal could mean to four university cities:

• In Bath, providing more purpose-built student accommodation could unlock 1,100 homes, which is equal to three years of recent housing delivery and £1.4 million in additional council tax revenues a year
• In Oxford it could unlock 1,400 homes, which equals five years of recent housing delivery and £1.8 million additional council tax revenue a year
• In Newcastle it could unlock 3,300 homes, which is equal to eight years of recent housing delivery and £3.2 million additional council tax revenue a year
• In Bristol it could only unlock six months’ worth of supply, but this is still 1,400 family homes and £1.6 million in additional council tax revenues a year

Download a full copy of the student housing report