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International Applications to UK Universities Hit Record High

So much for Brexit: latest figures show that the number of EU and international students applying for university places in the UK has increased to over 100,000 for the first time, a rise of almost 8% compared to last year. Image by Universities UK

The number of international applicants into UK universities rose by 11.1% to 58,450, the highest number on record.

Latest UCAS figures show that the number of applications by EU and international students for university places in the UK has increased to over 100,000 for the first time – this is a rise of almost 8% compared to last year.

UCAS (The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) operates the application process for a large number of universities in the UK. Its figures show that the number of EU applicants increased by 3.4% to 43,510. Last year, the number of EU students applying to British universities fell by 7%, right after the Brexit vote results.

HESA figures show that over the past decade, non-EU international applicants rose the highest, by 70%, compared to EU students at 48% and UK students from outside the region at 24%. Chart from Cushman & Wakefield Student Accommodation Report 2018

Meanwhile, the number of international applicants rose by 11.1% to 58,450, which is the highest number on record. HESA figures show that over the past decade, non-EU international applicants rose the highest, by 70%, compared to EU students at 48% and UK students from outside the region at 24%. Amongst international students in the UK, the highest numbers come from China, Malaysia and Hong Kong. Latest statistics place China, Malaysia and the US as the top three foreign student nationalities in the UK.

One factor contributing to the increase in overall applications is the weaker pound. Since the UK voted to leave the EU on 23 June 2016, the pound had devalued sharply, falling by as much as 21% per cent against major currencies. This makes studying in the UK a more affordable option for foreign students seeking a British education, particularly those from countries with lower exchange rates compared to the sterling.

Amongst international students in the UK for the 20015- 2015 period, the highest numbers come from China, Malaysia and Hong Kong. Latest statistics place China, Malaysia and the US as the top three foreign student nationalities in the UK. Chart by Cushman & Wakefield Student Accommodation Report 2018.

An explanation for the rise in EU students, in particular, could be the reduced tuition fees that they currently qualify for. Prospective students could be making a last-ditch effort to secure places in a British university before the UK formally leaves the Union, and the subsequent increase in fees.

The Government had announced that EU students starting in this academic year would be entitled to reduced fees and funding support for the duration of their course, even after the UK leaves the Union. EU nationals who have resided in the UK for over five years are also able to apply for undergraduate maintenance support and postgraduate loans.

Ultimately, British universities continue to be world-renowned and sought-after for their quality education. The prestigious University of Oxford and Cambridge are ranked number one and two, respectively, in the Times World University Rankings 2018. A total of 31 British universities managed to rank in the top 200 worldwide.

Helen Thorne, Director of External Relations at UCAS, said: “The UK’s universities are highly popular with EU and international students because of the quality of the teaching and experience they offer.”

For quite some time now, university-managed accommodation in the UK have been unable to keep pace with student numbers, giving rise to privately-managed purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA). The popularity of PBSAs has also been boosted by a more discerning and affluent student population, which demand a higher standard of living than private landlords in the UK can provide. PBSAs are typically located close to universities and the city centre, and are well-equipped with a myriad of amenities.

This rapid increase of EU and international students, upon the backdrop of declining numbers of UK home students, will continue to fuel the need for commercial student property, granting investors a brilliant opportunity for investment in one of the UK’s top performing asset classes.

One up-and-coming PBSA development in the Liverpool city centre, Natex, is a impressive 566-unit student residential scheme, approximately 5 minutes walk from two of the UK’s top universities (University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University). It offers a unique opportunity for commercial property investors with 9% nett rental returns assured for 5 years. Construction is poised to begin in Aug 2018, and completion is expected in Q3 2020.

By Ian Choong

Source:


CSI Prop proudly promotes 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. 

Disclaimer: CSI Prop does not provide tax & legal advice and accepts no liability. Readers are encouraged to consult a qualified tax or legal advisor for a thorough review.

Need advice or clarification? Call us for more information and/or to find out about our projects! Hotline: 03-2162 2260

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Where is the Best Place to Invest in UK Student Property?

While the final numbers have not yet been released, Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL) had projected the total investment volume of UK student property in 2017 to be in excess of £5 billion as demand remains high. Image taken from Priestley Lettings UK

UK student property continues to provide rewarding returns to investors over the years. While the final numbers have not yet been released, Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL) had projected the total investment volume of UK student property in 2017 to be in excess of £5 billion as demand remains high.

Recent data reveals that annual returns for student property between 2012 and 2016 reached an impressive 11.8%. Comparatively, in the same period, residential property was at 7.8% and commercial property, as a whole, at 7.4%.

According to data gleaned from the ONS & UK HPI rental growth index, CBRE student accommodation index and IPD quarterly property index, UK student property delivered 10.2% total returns —  a combination of 5.4% rental income and 4.8% capital growth.

Annual returns for student property between 2012 and 2016 reached an impressive 11.8%, a far better performance compared to residential property and commercial property as a whole. Image credit: Property Partner UK.

There was approximately £3.1bn invested in the UK purpose-built student accommodation market in 2016, making it the second highest year on record after the exceptional 2015, when 74,500 beds were traded at a total value of £5.9bn. While the final numbers have not yet been released, JLL had projected the total investment volume of UK student property in 2017 to be in excess of £5 billion as demand remains high.

More students than ever are studying away from home, meaning the demand pool for accommodation continues to grow. In 2016/17 the number of students living in private accommodation increased to 141,210, a growth of 6.4% compared to the previous year. This trend is predicted to continue, fueled by the inability of university-managed accommodation to keep pace with student numbers, and a more discerning and affluent student population.

A chart by Cushman & Wakefiled on the growth of studio bed spaces from 2014- 2017. Image: Cushman & Wakefield UK Student ccommodation Report.

UK universities continue to recruit an increasing number of students from outside the UK, with EU students growing by 48% and international students by 70% over the last decade. There are now over 397,000 students from outside the UK, making up nearly one quarter, or 23% of the student population.

Dan Gandesha, founder of investment platform Property Partner, said that during tough economic cycles where it’s harder to secure a job, people are more likely to go to university and extend their studies. This, he said, increases demand and while the number of places does not spike, it does help underpin the demand for student property.

“Having those counter-cyclical characteristics is quite unusual for an investment class. It’s very different to (other) commercial property. Residential property to some extent isn’t affected in the same way, but it doesn’t have the same attributes of student property, whereby the numbers and the demand go up (in a downturn),” Gandesha added.

 

UK student property hotspots

To get the best returns, investors of UK student property should pay attention to cities where universities have plans to grow and relocate campuses, as well as look at cities where the supply and demand balance is favourable. Better value investments can be found in historic and emerging regional locations that have good quality infrastructure and institutions with excellent track-records in education.

For instance, the University of Bristol is planning to invest £300m over the next five years in its brand-new Temple Meads campus, which will be able to accommodate an additional 5,000 students, boosting the demand for student property in the city.

Liverpool’s £2bn vision to establish a 450-acre Knowledge Quarter will further reinforce its status as one of the best student cities in the world. The Knowledge Quarter will encompass Liverpool John Moores University, the University of Liverpool, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool Science Park, the new Royal Liverpool University Hospital, and will transform the area into one of the world’s leading innovation districts. These new innovations will prove to be a draw to students and working adults alike, fueling opportunities for investors of buy-to-let and purpose built student accommodation.

Birmingham has seen a record rise in the supply of student last year and is now home to 21,000 bed spaces, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s UK Student Accommodation Report. Birmingham is second-largest student city in the country after London, with a student population of around 65,000. The University of Birmingham, Birmingham City University, Aston University, University College London and Newman University are all situated in the city, keeping demand for student accommodation high.

With a current demand ratio of 1 student to 3 beds, UK student property is poised to remain a top investment asset class in the commercial property sector for some time to come. The counter-cyclical nature of this unique asset class, coupled with the UK’s world class education system (and the currently lower pound due to Brexit) will keep the flow of international students coming.

Source:

https://www.buyassociation.co.uk/2018/02/20/purpose-built-student-blocks-can-provide-healthy-returns-investors/

https://realassets.ipe.com/real-estate/sectors/alternatives/student-housing-market-revision/10018850.article

Cushman & Wakefield UK Student Accommodation Report

https://resources.propertypartner.co/invest-purpose-built-student-accommodation/

By Ian Choong

CSI Prop proudly promotes international investment property with high yields at low risk. Our portfolio comprises residential and commercial property including student accommodation and carehomes, in cities across the United Kingdom (London, Luton, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, York, Glasgow, Scotland; Sheffield, etc) and Australia (Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane). 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. 

Disclaimer: CSI Prop does not provide tax & legal advice and accepts no liability. Readers are encouraged to consult a qualified tax or legal advisor for a thorough review.

Need advice or clarification? Call us for more information and/or to find out about our projects! Hotline: 03-2162 2260