Real estate experts Savills Plc has graded university towns and cities according to how deprived they are of purpose-built student accommodation and regional cities have come out of top.
The grading system for university towns and cities included five grades from ‘first’ ,for those most in need, to ‘pass’ for those least in need.
‘First Class Results’ were received by Glasgow and St Andrews, while an ‘Upper Second’ was given to Liverpool, Sheffield and Manchester; ‘Lower Seconds’ were also given to Nottingham and Plymouth.
The report also detailed that 3,971 homes in Sheffield and 3,889 in Leeds could be unlocked for family use if students moved out of shared houses (HMOs) into purpose-built student accommodation.
The ‘student city monitor’ combined a number of factors including measure of demand, student demographic, university academic rank, financial health and the affordability of the local rental market, to produce the results.
Savills recently issued a rallying call for more purpose-built student accommodation, which we reported on, as a solution to prevent the conversion of family housing to student lets from out-pricing local families.
Local authorities are now realising the urgency of this call and some are consulting on and enacting Article 4 Directives to restrict the new supply of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in markets with already high concentrations of student households, although Savills argues that schemes similar to this need to be enacted in more cities across the nation.
UCAS also recently reported that 19,000 more students have applied to study at UK universities this year compared to 2012 and students from all over Europe continue to apply to study in Britain. Applications from students in the Far East have seen an average annual growth of 8.5% over the last six years, while the number of students applying from China has grown annually by 9.9% and applicants from India have surged up 19.3%.
The report estimates in total that 66,000 properties or Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO) now occupied by students could be freed up for family housing through the delivery of more purpose-built student accommodation.