Investing in Student Accommodation UK
Student Boom Time for Stoke-on-Trent
Here is a quiz question for you. Be warned – it is a difficult one!
What do Beppe from Eastenders, the current Prime Minister of Kosovo and the holder of the women’s British pole-vaulting record have in common?
Okay, I’ll tell you – they all studied at Staffordshire University, in Stoke-on-Trent.
Are Stoke on Trent student houses good investments?
Maybe you didn’t realise that Stoke-on-Trent was a university town? If not, then you are not alone. People might not immediately think of Stoke-on-Trent as a student hotspot, but it truly is. The growth of both Staffordshire University, and nearby Keele University, has swelled the student community in Stoke to around 25,000. That is one in ten of the city’s population, not far off what we see in much better-known student communities like Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester.
And the University itself keeps going from strength to strength. So much so, it has just made the final shortlist of five for the prestigious Times and Sunday Times University of the Year Award for 2020. Such accolades will only do more to encourage high quality applications and keep the level of demand for places to study here at an all time high. And all of those students need somewhere to live.
This makes investing in Student accommodation a fantastic opportunity for local and overseas investors, and this market is special for this.
One of best student rental yields in UK.
For those of us who know and love the city, the growth of the University has been one of the biggest changes we have seen over the last decade. It has brought so much that is positive to the area – investment, people and that indefinable ‘buzz’ that you always find wherever young people gather to live, study and party together.
The amount of investment that the University has brought to the local area is pretty eye watering too. £100 million in new buildings and facilities in recent years, with a new £40 million Catalyst building due to open in 2021.
This has all led to the feel of living in a town that has a very bright future and, of course, it has had a massive impact on the balance between housing supply and demand in the city. Areas where the housing market might have been sluggish in the past, are now seeing a real, sustained, rise in demand. Places such as Hanley and Shelton, with houses originally built for workers in the local ceramic factories and steelworks, are finding a new lease of life as affordable, convenient homes for the city’s students.
This new demand for student housing is one of the reasons that a recent report has shown that house prices in Stoke are now actually rising faster than they are in London, Manchester or Birmingham (yes, you did hear that right!). Even so, if you know the area well, the city can still be a very affordable place to live, work or study.
I do know, as a professional property sourcer, that I am increasingly being contacted by parents asking me to help them find a decent, affordable house in the city for their sons or daughters to live in during their years of study here. This makes financial sense – paying the University for 3 years of accommodation costs around £15,000 – probably half or a third more than the average mortgage repayments would be on a £80,000 property. At the end of that period the owners either sell-up, or continue to generate income by renting to the next influx of students.
It is not just parents who are looking to buy either – many other buy-to-let investors look at the growth in student numbers and shrewdly calculate that, if they are to invest in property, then Stoke-on-Trent could well give them the best returns.
We are always happy to help investors find the right property in the right place. For those living outside the area, bringing in someone with local knowledge of the housing market always makes sense. I mean, I would never consider buying a house in London or New York without first talking to someone who knows those area well. Where are the best areas to invest? Where are the new coffeeshops opening up? Which areas should I avoid? When it comes to winning at property investment, local knowledge is almost certainly the most valuable tool you can have at your disposal.
Students are an increasingly important part of the Stoke-on-Trent economy, and this trend is certainly set to continue – with a big effect on housing demand in the city. As with past students, they will go on to do all sorts of jobs in all sorts of places. Some of them may even end up acting in TV soap operas, vaulting over high bars or running a country.
I just hope, when they do go on to achieve great things in their lives, that they look back on their time living in Stoke on Trent with real affection. It will be a part of what shaped them, what made them into the actors, sportsmen or political leaders that they go on to become.
If you have any questions about what the student market can offer chat to us HERE.
Treasure Tower Property Consultants