Student Accommodation

Invest in student buy-to-let properties in the UK with Knight Knox

About student accommodation

With 649,700 students applying to UK universities in 2017 the need for Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) is vast. The globally growing interest in studying at the UK’s higher education institutions has made investment in student accommodation big business, so much so that it is becoming a real contender to residential property investment.

Despite universities offering a limited amount of student accommodation, many of these are prioritised for first year students and there remains a huge imbalance between supply and demand. Last year the Financial Times reported that there were 3.5 students for every available room, just going to show the growing need for high-quality rental accommodation in the sector.

With attractive entry prices, impressive yields and low void periods, more and more investors are looking at buy-to-let student accommodation as a sustainable and lucrative alternative to residential property.

FAQ'S

  • Q. What is Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA)?

    A. ‘PBSA’ stands for Purpose Built Student Accommodation and this refers to a property that has been specifically built to be occupied by students. There are different types of student units which include student ‘pods’; a basic room containing a bed, desk, wash stand and wardrobe with shared communal facilities; an en-suite with shared kitchen facilities; or a self-contained studio.

  • Q. Who will manage my student accommodation?

    A. Most PBSA developments are let and managed by a specialist provider. The management company is responsible for sourcing tenants, managing any maintenance issues and collecting rent – much like a residential letting agent.

  • Q. Are the units owned by the university?

    A. No, PBSA units are privately owned for the purpose of generating income. When you purchase a private student room it is similar to owning a residential apartment and you will hold a full leasehold title once the sale is completed.

  • Q. Can I sell my PBSA unit on the open market?

    A. Yes. Like most normal leasehold properties, PBSA rooms can be sold freely on the open market, however they must be sold as a student rental property. In addition there are also dedicated platforms to resell student property such as StudentPodshop.com!

  • Q. Where should I invest in buy-to-let student accommodation?

    A. When investing in PBSA you should be looking for university cities or towns with a high (and growing) number of students. Often investors look towards well-renowned higher education institutions which can offer good returns and low void periods. Examples include University of Manchester – which has the biggest student community in the UK – as well as Leeds, Birmingham, Liverpool and Sheffield.

    For more information, please read our student accommodation hotspots article here

Would you like to learn more about student accommodation? Contact us today to speak to a student property investment specialist.

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