Students look to location first when choosing accommodation

Students look to location first when choosing accommodation

The largest survey of UK student accommodation ever conducted has revealed that location is the key driver of happiness for those living in PBSA (Purpose-built student accommodation). The survey, jointly conducted by Knight Frank and UCAS, is the largest ever taken in the student sector with the focus of the survey being on factors that drive the most happiness from PBSA.

In addition to location, students cited having the option to live with friends and the overall quality of the accommodation has important when choosing the right accommodation.

The survey underlines for investors the importance of PBSA in key locations close to the university and the demand for high quality accommodation that delivers to expectations and enhances the overall university experience.

Approximately 30% of first-year students in the UK live in PBSA and this figure is growing every year. The survey also found that value for money was also a key driver of selecting the right accommodation, with many happy to pay more for the best locations and facilities.

Commenting on the findings, James Pullan, Head of Student Property at Knight Frank, said: “The private sector now accounts for the majority of new PBSA development and, as universities become more reliant on outside investment to provide new PBSA, greater focus is likely to be placed on the strength of the relationship between the private sector and universities. The ability for both to work together and bring new product and innovation to market will be key to future success.”

With the value of the UK PBSA market expected to reach £50 billion by the end of 2019, investors that hone-in on student accommodation in prime locations within top UK university towns and cities, stand to achieve attractive returns.