The total value of construction projects for UK student housing was worth more than £2.3 billion (Dh12.24bn) last year, with investment in the sector showing no signs of slowing, according to the website theconstructionindex.co.uk.
Investment in student housing has reached a five-year high, with construction contracts awarded in 2015 for more than 4,500 new student bedrooms.
There was an overall rise of 26 per cent in student bedrooms commissioned for construction last year compared with 2014. The peak of student housing construction came in the final quarter of last year, as contracts were awarded to build 2,117 units, the highest total recorded since before the recession.
“Student housing has undergone a significant amount of change over recent years, with rising rental fees and a higher level of expectation from the occupying students,” says Michael Dall, the lead economist at the industry data specialist Barbour ABI. “Universities and investors are behind a wave of more modern accommodation, with Wi-Fi to en-suites now becoming the norm as they attempt to attract students with high-end living facilities. A wave of postgraduate accommodation has also come into play and I expect this to continue in 2016, as the majority of investors focused on bridging the gap for first year housing prior to 2015.
“The removal of the cap on student numbers may have also triggered many universities to anticipate an increase in enrolment over the coming years, hence the jump in the number of new student bedrooms being commissioned in 2015,” he says.
“As investor appetite remains high for student housing, I expect it will be at the forefront for many contractors over the coming years.”