At Knight Knox International we have long advised investors about the changing gaze of students, whose desire once did not venture beyond simply having a bed to sleep in. The gaze of today’s commercially focussed students has now changed dramatically, as the rise in tuition fees has determined that many students do not see traditional university halls of residence as adequate living spaces. This has led an increasing number of students to desire boutique, state-of-the-art accommodation with double en-suite bedrooms and gymnasiums; a trend which is being fortified by the high occupancy rates we have seen in our latest student developments.
The private student property market has ostensibly moved towards a city-centre market over recent times, as students continue to situate themselves in urban locations, with most attending city centre campus universities, something which is demonstrated in the fact that 20-34 year olds now represent 36% of the adult population in city centres. When this statistic is combined with the prestige associated with receiving a British education – five of the world’s top 30 universities are located in the UK, it is easy to see why the student market continues to offer such strong returns for investors and continues to attract a growing number of international students, who now represent 19.2% of the student population.
Here at Knight Knox International, we have adapted to this city-centre market by providing private student accommodation in cities where demand outreaches supply, in terms of a shortage of beds for students in the area. Over the last 18 months, we have launched over ten high-yielding student developments in undersupplied locations; many of which have been launched in cities which have student populations of over 50,000, including Nottingham, Manchester and Liverpool.
Bard House in Nottingham is 90% let for the September intake and Dunn House in Sunderland is also 90% let for the 2013/2014 academic year
By working with experienced developers, we are able to deliver high-quality projects on a broad scale. A city which fits this description perfectly is Liverpool and we retain an exclusive status with Liverpool-based developers X1 Developments. Their on-the-ground knowledge of the city has enabled us to market perfectly positioned developments, which caused our occupancy rates in Liverpool to mushroom. X1 Borden Court, which is located next to the University of Liverpool, is already 80% let for the 2013/14 academic year and X1 Arndale House is already 75% let for the September 2013 intake.
Another Liverpool project in our portfolio is Jamworks-Shaw Street; within a week of taking bookings, the development is already over 50% let and interest among students is high.
Leeds is another city in which we have a strong presence; its 33,000 strong population has long been undersupplied in terms of student housing and over the past 18 months, we have launched projects such as St Ann’s Lodge and Lovell Park as a solution to the city’s housing needs. Hamilton Black is the developer behind these projects and their experience has helped our occupancy rates burgeon for this September’s intake, with St Ann’s Lodge already being 95% let and Lovell Park 60% let.
Forshaw Land have also recently informed us that The Bank, a development providing bespoke private student accommodation in Bolton, is already 100% let for next year and, with a ream of other Greater Manchester projects set to be launched in co-operation with the development firm, we hope to continue to impress students in the same manner.
We are also engaged as the master sales and marketing agent for numerous developments brought to market by Fortis Developments. Projects released in 2012/13 which are now completely sold out include Bard House in Nottingham, which is 90% let for the September intake and Dunn House in Sunderland, which is also 90% let for the 2013/2014 academic year. Fortis also have developments in Glasgow, which we have sold, including St Andrews Court which is 75% and Central House which is 80% let.
To enquire about the full range of investment options available through Knight Knox International in the private student accommodation sector call 0161 772 1370 or visit the Knight Knox International website.