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32,000 New Student Beds to Enter UK Market

Thirty-two thousand new beds entered the UK student accommodation market for the 2019/20 academic year according to new research data by global estate firm Cushman & Wakefield.

The total number of beds now sits at just under 660,000 with transactions worth £2.5 billion by the end of October last year. However, despite the vast number of beds, the demand for student accommodation still continues to rise 30% faster than the current supply.

Cushman’s annual UK Student Accommodation Report also reveals the cost of student accommodation, with a new private-sector en-suite bed costing on average £6,883 per annum.

According to the report, the pricing difference between a private sector and university en-suite beds is reducing, with beds in the private sector now only 1.3% higher than those provided by the universities.

David Feeney, UK Student Accommodation Advisory Lead at Cushman & Wakefield, commented: “The momentum behind student accommodation continues, with the marketisation of the higher education sector leading to an explosion of growth in student headcounts at many institutions. Eighteen universities are now home to 4,000 more students than just five years ago.

“The global prestige and brand strength of the UK’s academic institutions remains very strong, and there has been [a] 33% growth in international student numbers over the past five years at the strongest STEM universities. In light of this, [the] demand for student beds continues to outpace the overall supply pipeline.

“However, within that, there are different levels of demand and not every market is out-performing. Therefore, it is critical to have intimate local knowledge of the different factors in putting a strategy together.”

Looking ahead into the upcoming academic year of 2020/21, a total of 114,000 student beds are in the Purpose-Built Student Accommodation pipeline with the majority of these arriving in time for the 2021/22 academic year.

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