Student Accommodation: An Investment Guide by Knight Knox International

As the fastest growing asset class in the property market, student accommodation projects are the hottest property investment opportunity to date and the market is currently awash with developments; something which North West property investment firm, Knight Knox International, understands extremely well.

Student Accommodation: An Investment Guide by Knight Knox International

​As specialists in selling student accommodation projects, Knight Knox International is aware of the high volume of projects that are currently in the market place and understand that it can be difficult to make the decision of where to buy.

“With so many different developments out there, investors need to make sure they are choosing the best project for their individual needs” comments Knight Knox International’s Sales Director, Martin Copeland.

“We have been selling boutique student accommodation projects for many years now and have built strong links with an exclusive range of developers, solicitors and rental management companies to ensure that our developments are the best on the market”.

To assist buyers in knowing how to choose the best investment opportunity for them, Knight Knox International has comprised a simple checklist that covers the main areas of due diligence that should be carried out before a purchase.

Knight Knox International’s Top 5 Tips for Investing In Student Property:

1. Does the development have planning permission?

Whilst not all developments will have planning permission at the start of the buying process, investors do need to be aware that it is a potential risk, as deposits on some projects are subject to planning permission being received. As many deposits on such projects are non-refundable, investors need to be aware of the potential risk involved and research whether the planners have the backing of the local council and that there is a demand for a student accommodation residence in the area.

At Knight Knox International, investors are given full disclosure on the status of all developments, ensuring complete transparency throughout the purchase process.

2. Is the site owned by the developer?

Ascertaining the ownership status of the site where the development sits is something that any prudent investor should be aware of at the point of purchase. If the developer does not own the site from the start, then it is important to discover whether they have the funds to complete on the land and if they have delivered any completed projects prior to the one underway.

By investing in student accommodation projects through Knight Knox International, investors can be confident the company only works in partnership with developers and contractors with a healthy track record of completed projects.

3. Is the site already in construction?

Whilst it is not essential that a student accommodation development should be in construction at the time of purchase, it is vitally important to check that the company you are purchasing the property through can produce defined completion dates and construction time scales, to ensure that the project does not overrun and miss the intended student intake.

Investors who have bought student accommodation developments through Knight Knox International can be confident that company only works with experienced developers who have numerous completed projects to their name and good reputations within the industry.

4. Is there a demand for student accommodation in the area?

Each of Knight Knox International’s developments are in areas that have either a lack of student accommodation overall, or a lack of modern housing in cities with large and growing student populations. Universities can no longer cater for the high volume of students they receive each year, let alone provide residences that meet the high expectations of today’s consumer-focussed student, thus opening up an avenue for private developers to provide bespoke accommodation at extremely competitive prices.

5. Are the rents and running costs quoted in-line with neighbouring student accommodation residences?

With any student buy-to-let property, it is essential that investors research the average rental value of surrounding properties, to ascertain whether the predicted yields are achievable. It is also important that the ground rent and maintenance costs are realistic, as this can affect the expected yields after the first year.

Each of Knight Knox International’s student accommodation developments have projected rental yields that are assured between 8-10% NET for year 1*, figures which are far above the industry average of 6-6.5%. The budgets for each project are prepared by experienced people in the industry, who have extensive knowledge of running major building schemes.

How To Release The Equity In Your Student Accommodation Investment

As the ultimate hands-free investment, owners of student accommodation units often keep their property for the full length of the lease, reassured by high occupancy levels in a sector recognised for its stability and predicted longevity.

Alternatively, some investors choose to release the equity in their investment by selling their property on. Knight Knox International has facilitated the resale of clients’ student accommodation units for some time now and, as demand in the resale market has grown, the company has launched a new website studentpodshop.com, to facilitate the sales.

Studentpodshop.com is the first, purpose-built resale site for the burgeoning student accommodation market. Acting as an agent on behalf of the investor, studentpodshop.com gives interested investors the option of either advertising the sale of their student pod through the site, or viewing student accommodation units that are for sale.

For further enquiries regarding the resale of a student accommodation investment, please contact studentpodshop.com on +44(0)161 772 1390.

Current Student Accommodation Developments

With 10 completed student accommodation projects to their name, Knight Knox International is experienced in delivering boutique residences in major cities within the UK. Current projects include Borden Court in Liverpool, Nelson Square in Bolton and Lovell Park in Leeds, which are each on their way to being completely sold out.

For further information about investing in student accommodation through Knight Knox International please contact +44 (0)161 772 1370.

*All figures are correct at time of publishing. Please contact Knight Knox International for specific financial information on individual projects.


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