Are We Nearing PBSA Saturation Point?
The purpose-built student accommodation sector has flourished in recent years, both as an asset class and amongst students with increasingly high expectations for university living.
But are UK cities reaching student accommodation saturation point? In a recent article for University Business, David Campbell, Managing Director of Alumno Developments, suggests not.
While the development of purpose-built student accommodation can be controversial in cities where numerous developments have been added in a short period of time, research suggests that demand is continuing to outstrip supply. Research also suggests that in spite of Brexit, the UK is still an attractive prospect for international students. In some cities traditional student housing stock is also being converted back to housing for young professionals following legislative changes for student landlords, and so the density and type of student housing in cities is continuing to shift.
Purpose-built student accommodation has many advantages for students, investors and local communities, and while its manifestations will continue to develop, its future appears secure.
An Evolving Process
Speaking of student housing in UK cities, David Campbell commented:
"It is an ever-evolving process and one that changes with the needs of the students, which will undoubtedly be different again in a few years' time.
Multi-functional buildings will increasingly become the norm, with developers looking to blend residential, academic/teaching and community areas within the same building. Student facilities will need to become increasingly adaptable, so they can be used and enjoyed by the wider community and thus ensuring they become a key contributor to the success of towns and cities in the process of reinvention.
One fact remains very clear across this sector – the standards have risen and the benchmark set high, and with this expectations are changing. The challenge is as much about meeting the needs and expectations of the student population as it is about adding value to the wider local community."