Lifestyle: While centrally located digs matter to university students, facilities like quality living space, high-speed bandwidth and communal sections that encourage optimum interaction are now highly ranked, too.
Where in the UK to invest?
If there’s one thing that has UK Inc. stamped all over, it’s Britain’s world-class education. Yep, British universities are in rip-roaring health as eager beavers continue to cram the hallowed halls of renowned UK institutions, while other industries suffer.
Knight Frank and Savills have both reported that student property now stands as the fastest-growing property sector in the UK, with demand consistently exceeding supply. Indeed. There are some 2.3 million students (and counting) in the UK now, and the number of international students is predicted to rise by 20% – 30% in the next 5 years according to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in 2013. These are amazing times for investment!
It is, however, crucial to invest wisely.
Putting your money in any old property located within minutes from a city area, isn’t the way to go. You won’t get great returns investing in student digs in townships where unknown universities are located. Conversely, it is cities like Birmingham, Bristol, Exeter, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield that have been touted as the best places to invest in UK student property. One common thread shared between these cities is that they each serve as the location for a Russell Group University. As a rule, universities that rise rapidly in the UK league tables attract higher enrolment, thus creating greater demand for accommodation. Ergo, the more renowned the university, the stronger the rental market.
Cambridge university students, for instance, are brainy and make formidable cash cows. The university is constantly expanding; the city population is expected to increase by more than 20 per cent in the next 10 years, driving the student rental sector in the area to boom. Newcastle is another example. The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) has ranked Newcastle University (another Russell Group Uni) as5th in employability, top 12 for research power in science and engineering and 8th for medical research power. It is also one of the largest universities in the whole of UK with more than 31,000 students from 130 countries.
It is also prudent to invest in student accommodation built by credible developers that have vast experience in the business. At the risk of being repetitive, we prefer developers that build where top universities are located, and with enough monetary clout to develop on a site that’s mere minutes’ walk away from universities, city centres and amenities – i.e. where demand is highest.
Purpose Built Student Accommodation
Which is why Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) has been increasing in popularity.As global, regional and virtual boundaries continue to blur, students want to remain connected. In this hurry-up world, they want to have anything and be anywhere, instantly. Research shows that students have become more discerning, and want to be treated like true customers. Thus, while prime locations matter, facilities like quality living space, high-speed bandwidth and communal sections that encourage optimum interaction are now highly ranked, too.
This bodes well for the mass investor market. PBSAs – formerly the domain of institutional investors – is now the focus of the smart individual investor because, with the right developer, the rewards are enormous. VITA Student, the luxury student accommodation development arm of UK’s renowned Select Property Group, has had 10 years’ experience in the market, with their projects fetching annual rental yields of up to 10% and guaranteed returns of minimum 7% for five years.
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CSI Properties (Cornerstone International) proudly markets international investment property with high yields at low risk. Our portfolio comprises residential and purpose-built student property in cities across the United Kingdom (London, Luton, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, York, Glasgow, Scotland; Sheffield, etc); Australia (Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane) and Thailand (Bangkok). Our projects are concentrated in high-growth areas with great educational, infrastructural and job growth potentials. We aspire to make a difference in the lives of our clients by helping them achieve their investment goals through strong market research backed by third party experts and due diligence.
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