Student accommodation is the ‘UK’s best asset class’ – Savills

Tuesday 26th February 2013

Savills International Residential Sales Asia Pacific has partnered with property developer, Vita Student, which provides hotel standard accommodation to students to offer UK student property investment opportunities to investors in Asia, reflecting growing international appetite for student properties in the UK.

The new units at the student property development, Vita Student at Crosshall in Liverpool city centre, are available for individuals to purchase.

Julian Sedgwick, Savills Head of Business Development believes that the UK student property investment market is due to alter significantly, saying; “The attractive yields and low entry prices have led to student accommodation being widely reported as the UK's best asset class. However due to the recent increase in tuition fees for domestic students the accommodation market is changing. We expect to see an escalation in the number of international students opting to study in the UK. This will lead to a surge in demand for high quality self-contained units in central locations.”

The strength of interest for UK student property investment saw Vita Student open an office in Singapore last year to better service their clients from Asia Pacific.

Justin Humphreys Vita Student's Head of Business Development Asia Pacific said: “International investors are aware of the growing number of international students studying in the UK and simply recognise the opportunity - this is especially prevalent in South East Asia.”

Student property accreditation scheme

Since its launch one year ago, over 1,200 student properties have been signed up to a new Student property accreditation scheme.

The 1,221 properties across 26 UK cities are now listed in the AFS/Unipol Code, the first nationwide initiative to accredit student landlords who offer high standards of Student accommodation property.

It is estimated that accreditation figures will increase to 2,500 by the end of this year.

The Accommodation for Students (AFS) website and Unipol, the charity working to improve training, standards and professionalism in student housing, created the Code.

The scheme is voluntary allowing landlords to commit to maintaining professional standards when managing shared student properties. It sets out a number of specific standards which rented student properties and their management must adhere to, covering key areas such as comfort, facilities, safety, security and service.

So far the code has proved most successful in Leeds, Nottingham, Manchester, Durham and Birmingham.

A recent survey conducted by AFS suggested that the introduction of the student property accreditation scheme has been well received throughout the industry with over 90% of students saying they would prefer to rent a property that has been physically inspected and accredited.

Rob Hunter, founder of Place Group UK and the London Student Group, was one of the first landlords in London to sign up for the code.

He said: “Put simply, the code is definitely working for us and I can’t speak highly enough of the accreditation, the outstanding quality of the assessors and the results we have seen.

“Compliance with a recognised published standard provides peace of mind to parents and students, and I am passionate about encouraging more landlords to get behind the scheme and help improve standards throughout the sector.”


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