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Sun May 31 2020

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Student housing market tops £2.3bn

23 Feb 16 Investment in student housing has reached a five-year high, with construction contracts awarded in 2015 for more than 4,500 new student bedrooms.

The total value of construction projects for student housing was worth more than £2.3bn last year, with investment in the sector showing no signs of slowing.

There was an overall increase of 26% in student bedrooms being commissioned for construction in 2015 compared to 2014.

The peak of student housing construction came in the final quarter of 2015, as contracts were awarded to build 2,117 units, the highest total recorded since before the recession.

Michael Dall, lead economist at industry data specialist Barbour ABI, said: “Student housing has undergone a significant amount of change over recent years, with rising rental fees and a higher level of expectation from the occupying students.

“Universities and investors are behind a wave of more modern accommodation, with wi-fi to en-suites now becoming the norm as they attempt to attract students with high end living facilities. A wave of post-graduate accommodation has also come into play and I expect this to continue in 2016, as the majority of investors focused on bridging the gap for first year housing prior to 2015.

“The removal of the cap on student numbers may have also triggered many universities to anticipate an increase in enrolment over the coming years, hence the jump in the number of new student bedrooms being commissioned in 2015. As investor appetite remains high for student housing, I expect it will be at the forefront for many contractors over the coming years.”

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