Student accommodation demand unaffected by pandemic

Steve Lumley·24 June 2021·4 min read
Student accommodation demand unaffected by pandemic

Demand for student accommodation in the UK has been unaffected by the Covid-19 pandemic, research reveals.

The findings come from a student accommodation platform who say that demand has remained high despite the pandemic lockdown.

The platform has analysed data that reveals that rental yields have been maintained in those postcodes closest to the main campuses.

The best average rental yield was for landlords with properties close to the University of St Andrews where yields rose to 5%, from 3.4% at the start of 2020.

Landlords serving Aberystwyth University also saw yields rise to 5.9% from 4.6%.

Yields also rose by 1% at Lancaster University, with yields climbing by 0.9% at Loughborough University, Falmouth and Queens University in Belfast.

'Consistent demand for properties from students'

A spokesman for the platform said: "Despite the restrictions imposed for much of the last year, we have seen a consistent demand for properties from students.

"Even now, student accommodation providers are still seeing high demand, and most will have secured property for their next academic year."

He added that the level of demand underlines the strength of the student rental sector, and this is set to grow as the new academic year approaches.

The managing director of Accommodation for Students, Simon Thompson, welcomed the news.

He said: "Attending university is a huge part of the student experience and finding quality student homes to rent is an important part of that.

"News that student rental demand has remained high despite the Covid-19 restrictions should be welcomed by everybody in the student accommodation sector."

Rentals rise for student property provider

Meanwhile, one student accommodation provider says its rentals have been rising - even with lockdown learning in place.

According to Empiric Student Property, rental numbers have risen despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

They add also that the number of applications from Chinese students has now spiked.

And with applications for the next academic year showing encouraging growth, the firm says that domestic applications grew by 11%, while international students - those from outside of the EU - rose by 17%.

They add too that applications from Chinese students have risen by 21%.

The firm's chief executive, Duncan Garrood, said: "The lifting of restrictions, the successful vaccination programme and encouraging UCAS applications for the next academic year, leaves us optimistic about a return to usual occupancy levels."

He adds that bookings are lower than before the pandemic hit, but the firm has already achieved a 40% occupancy rate for the next academic year.