As the number of student properties rises in cities around the UK, matching surging demand from students travelling to university, there is a steady competition for investors, developers and landlords, who all want to make sure that their property offerings stand out to young people. Student tenants might be easier to come by nowadays, with growing numbers and an increasing amount of students choosing to live away from home, but they are also more particular with the type of property they want to live in:
What are the main student property types?
Anyone familiar with university accommodation, whether it be from their own experience of going to university or even from an investment level, will understand that there are typically three different housing choices that students will opt for:
- Traditional student halls or house shares – Student housing, either provided by a landlord or perhaps even directly by the student’s chosen university, is perhaps the most commonly thought of stereotype when thinking about property. And while in television shows and films the zeitgeist of ‘student squalor’ and the ‘authentic student experience’ might still be apparent and looked at as what students aim towards to make the most out of there time there, the reality is not too similar. Some students do like sharing with others in a house share or common room, for example, as it gives a different social atmosphere that you wouldn’t get from living on your own or at home, but many want their own space that they can maintain and keep calm while focusing on their work, removing the risk of stepping on the toes of others in the process.
- Modern Student Property – City centre apartments dotted around cities and popular areas are increasing in volume nowadays in order to meet the growing number of students at city-based universities, and more generally it has been estimated that by 2050 nearly two thirds of people will live in a city. For the students that can manage it, this is increasingly becoming the desired way to live, having their own modern space with easy educational and social access to their chosen uni. For those looking into investing in property or becoming a landlord that don’t already have a property to take care of, this property type might be the one to go for.
- Living at home – This last option is pretty self-explanatory, but is common – particularly among poorer students or those that don’t have a feasible loan amount for living – and so worth taking into account. Students who perhaps aren’t ready to move away from home, and who aren’t shifting their studies to a university that is in a different part of the country, will choose to commute in or drive depending on how far away they live. It’s still worth taking the time to research what might entice this demographic even if you think they’re a lost cause, as studies have shown that a large percentage live at home but want to live away.
Remember – If you’re wanting to rent out a property to tenants, you should consider which property type is the most lucrative in terms of rental yields, to make sure that you’re making the most money possible, as consistently as possibly. Modern student accommodation is quite possibly the highest performing asset-class in the UK at the moment for rental yields, so it’s definitely worth considering.
The sorts of components that the most popular apartments and homes come furnished and fitted with will also help you to market the property down the line, to ensure that you’re attracting as many tenants as possible.
So, what are some of the best ways to market your property to a student tenant in the modern day? And how can you make sure that your property stays popular? For inspiration, here are a few tips that you might find helpful.
Showing that it’s modern
Depending on the amount of money that have at their disposal, whether that be from financial support from parents or their student loans/grants, students typically tend to opt for modern, sleek apartments in a city centre.
If you’re an existing landlord or property owner, you might want to take a look at your student accommodation offering, and thing about some of the ways that you could modernise it. This could include giving the walls a fresh coat of paint, switching out the existing furniture for some more sleek and stylish alternatives, or even installing some modern fixtures and fittings, such as smart lighting or speaker assistants. Things like this shouldn’t cost too much money to install.
Maintaining a high-speed internet connection in your property is another thing that you should mark as a priority. With the vast majority of university courses nowadays using online portals and networks to manage courses, seminars and submission deadlines, it’s imperative that a reliable connection is in place. The current generation of students and young people also typically spend a lot of their free time on the internet/social media too, so it will be something that they expect in their accommodation. Take a look at which provider has the best coverage in your area, and go from there.
Showing its proximity to the surrounding city
Students and young people move to the city while studying not just to enjoy their time at university, but also to make the most of urban life, and the exciting social aspects it offers. If you want to make your property stand out to young people, a great, free step that you can take is highlighting some of the best surrounding bars and restaurants. Helping young people to visualise living there will help them to make a decision, and being within walking distance of some city hotspots will appeal to them, as it can save them money that would otherwise be spent on travel.
For investors looking to seat themselves in the city, with the best chance of staying tenanted, city centre apartments are the most popular, and can gain the most attractive rental yields. RWinvest, for example, a UK property investment company, have offerings dotted around the heart of Liverpool, which prove popular with post investors and students for different reasons. Going forward, these sorts of compact apartments and flats will be among the most popular and lucrative.
Showing how it can help with their studies
Depending on the different universities around that your potential tenants will be studying at, you might also want to compile some information on how long it takes to reach the campuses, and how easy it is to reach them via public transport. If your property is a stones’ throw away from one of the most popular universities, for example, it’s a point worth shouting about, as that’s the sort of easy access that students love.