Why Purpose Built Student Accommodation is important
“Price can naturally be a big factor for students deciding where to live but this doesn’t mean students will go for the cheapest option available”
The student accommodation sector is continuing to grow at an unparalleled rate and it stands to benefit almost everyone, but why is this? I have put together this article explaining why purpose-built student accommodation is so important.
It was only a decade or so ago that the sector was nearly non-existant and students were faced with two options: university-run halls of residence or converted Homes for Multiple Occupation (HMOs), neither of which were overly appealing. I can only remember to well the state of my halls, which were akin to a prison cell and my dingy run-down student housing in an area to the south of Manchester.
Fast forward to today and the sector has been completely revolutionised by the introduction of Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA). Students no longer have to pay extortionate amounts to secure an outdated room in halls or a small room in a shared house with only one bathroom between eight occupants. Instead, they can choose from a range of boutique options that vary depending on personal taste and budgets.
What is the difference between PBSA and traditional housing for students?
PBSA is different from traditional student housing because, unlike HMOs, they have been designed and built specifically for university students by private developers or a redevelopment of an existing building.
PBSA can be studios or a cluster of flats that share communal spaces such as kitchens and bathrooms. Some flats come with en suite facilities.
Why is PBSA so much better for students?
PBSA caters students needs far better than any other form of accommodation and students are willing to pay for the added convenience and quality. In fact, over half of students are looking for high-quality accommodation that is close to their main university campus, local amenities and come with superfast broadband.
Additionally, the quality of student accommodation in the area can have a big impact on where they will attend university. Students put a lot of thought and effort into finding their ideal university and the quality, location and affordability of student accommodation can be a big motivator into that decision.
Why PBSA is a strong investment opportunity
Price can naturally be a big factor for students deciding where to live but this doesn’t mean students will go for the cheapest option available. Students regularly pay somewhere in the region of £500-£800 a month for their accommodation.
But with this high cost, student expectations have increased alongside. A majority of students expect their bills to be included in their rent for added convenience and keeps their responsibilities to a minimum.
Students put a lot of thought and effort into finding their ideal university and the quality, location and affordability of student accommodation can be a big motivator
Student accommodation is a viable and lucrative investment opportunity for many landlords due to the rise of students willing to pay more for boutique PBSA over cheaper halls.
Why PBSA is good for permanent residence
With the increasing shortage of residential housing and councils wanting the houses used for student accommodation back, PBSA helps to fill the void and presents somewhere for students to live that not only increases the number of houses available to residences but also moved what is often considered a disruptive temporary population away from residential areas.
In conclusion, with the number of students in the UK continuing to grow year on year whilst the residential housing market is becoming increasingly strained more students are choosing to live in PBSA for their added comfort, convenience and the social element.
This type of accommodation caters better for the needs of students and helps to free up housing for everyone else, whilst also providing a fantastic opportunity for investors. PBSA really does benefit everyone.
About the author: Ben Fielding is a content writer who works with Raised Floor Solutions, a specialist composite flooring contractor that installs its products across the UK to the highest quality standards whilst ensuring a safe and sustainable business.