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Record-breaking student property sector likely to continue growing in 2018

If you’ve been following this blog or watching the wider property news, you’ll know that there is some disagreement about where the general property market will go over the next few months. Some people think it will level off and stagnate, others seem to think growth will continue at a steady pace, fuelled by the new stamp duty laws.

But perhaps one area where there is general agreement in the property sector is in student accommodation. This is a real growth area, with a record-breaking 30,000 new bed spaces being provided in 2017. In fact, since 2014 the number of student rooms has more than doubled. And around 97% of these have been provided by the private sector, according to research by Cushman and Wakefield.

The total number of student rooms in the UK now stands at more than 600,000 and overall rent on these increased by almost 3% over the last academic year. It is predicted that this market will continue to show strong signs of growth over the next 12 months. However, it is very much regionally dependent. Manchester, which has the largest student population outside of London, saw growth hit 5% despite there being more than 61% more accommodation available. Rents in Edinburgh, Bristol and Birmingham also all went up above the national average.

The average cost of student accommodation in London is now £195 a week, with Manchester coming in at £142 a week. The private sector dominates the supply of new beds, but it also charges more for its accommodation services. But with more students studying away from home than ever before, the market continues to grow and look strong. Full-time student numbers are now 4% higher than in 2012/13 when fees first rose to £9,000 a year. And overall enrolments are up by 1%.

Investment in the sector continues to be very high, with more than £4bn being ploughed in over the course of the last financial year. And the UK is still a very big hub for the international student market.

So, if you’re looking for an investment project in property, then Norwich, with its large and growing student population, could be a very safe bet. The presence of two universities in the city means there is a big demand for student accommodation, and with a move towards the private sector, this could be a great time to invest.

To find out more about the local and national property market, or if you would like to chat about anything to do with property investment, give us a ring on Norwich 01603 567804 or send us a message.

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