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UK STUDENT PROPERTY INVESTMENTS FOR 2015

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High Demand for Student Property in Liverpool

Students flock to Liverpool and investing in student suitable accommodation is a wise investment choice for the astute property investor. Areas like Lime Street Station and the City Centre are ideal for buying and letting consistently in demand student accommodation. These popular areas are not only ideal for the universities but are also well placed for shopping and the city’s famous and vibrant night life.

With a whopping 54000 students in Liverpool it is not surprising that there is a very real shortage of quality student accommodation that gap is begging to be filled and demand is consistently outstripping supply. Here you have an active market place that will pay premium rent for the right property.

Student accommodation and demand has nothing short of an excellent record in Liverpool and there is a lot of property available if you care to look in areas that might not be traditionally considered suitable for private or professional tenants. Inner city locations that may out of other tenants are areas where students due to ease and accessibility actually thrive.

In Liverpool, the student life is growing and there are many areas that can be considered now as suitable for property investment opportunism when targeting the student market. As an example the area where some of the main student housing is in the student accommodation area just off Duke Street and just around the corner Hanover Street. Duke Street is an industrial street with an odd mix of property. There are both residential houses and flats to commercial warehouses. This once industrial area that was dominated by merchants is fast becoming one of the most sought after areas and streets to live in Liverpool.

For the locals this shift is not surprising as it is this area now that is not only great for students but also by the trend setting and the rich Liverpudlians are taking this area to their hearts and while they may not be in the market to buy, the rents are still growing.

New developments such as the East Village, which consists of smart cafes, restaurants ,  and social areas attract out of town money, this area is becoming trendy and starting to undergo and slow period of regenerations. Look to Hanover Street as this really is one of the most famous streets in Liverpool and this is now the trendy and young neighbourhood as funky, upmarket, boutique style shops are taking residence.

Slightly down the road is BBC Merseyside and Jamie Oliver has opened a restaurant there. And almost immediately to the right is Bold Street, famous for its shops, cafes and a consistently favourite hang out for students. Not surprisingly, any property developer that has the brains to offer student accommodation here and you will have students fighting to pay you rent.  Right around this student accommodation other money sources targeting students have mushroomed this includes bars, restaurants, shops, vinyl, vintage clothing shops, boutiques, bookstores and cafes.

Liverpool is calling and she is patient but don’t miss the boat and get your student property investment now to make the most of this opportunity.

Tips for Finding the Perfect Student Accommodation

Finding the perfect student accommodation can be rather difficult and tricky. Not only is there a wide range of accommodation options for you to choose from, but there are also so many different factors to take into consideration before you sign on the dotted line. So here are a few tips to help you make your choice in choosing the right student accommodation.

First make a personal assessment

Before you go looking for accommodation, you have to first assess the options available yourself. You have to assess your own personality to decide how you want to live.

You have to decide if you will be able to live on your own and do your own laundry and cooking or if you will prefer living with other people and sharing your chores.

Next, you have to decide on how much you can actually afford for your accommodation. If your budget is on the higher side, you will be able to afford the best accommodation with modern facilities and even individual rooms. However if your budget is small, you may have to either look for cheaper accommodation or find roommates who will share your room and rent.

Choose based on locations

There are many universities which offer their own accommodation for students which is actually convenient for students as no time and money is spent travelling to and from the college. However if you prefer living off campus, you have to find accommodation based on its location.

Living too far from the college will only spell additional travelling expenses; so choose something within walking distance. Besides, the place you stay should be in close proximity, or offer transportation options to restaurants, boutiques, supermarkets and bookstores.

Additional facilities

Don’t forget facilities while choosing student accommodation as it plays an important part in improving the quality of your life. Look for accommodation offering free internet connections, free cable connection, a free entertainment showcase and perhaps free access to the recreational area.

Today, wireless broadband connections are increasing in popularity when compared to the wired ones solely for its convenience. However, make sure you understand your landlord’s terms and conditions before getting a broadband connection. If possible, look for accommodation with kitchen appliances, bathrooms and washing machines.

The accommodation you choose should also have enough space for you to rest and study. Without peace and study space, you will not be able to maintain or even improve your grades.
Read the contract before signing on the dotted line

Not only should you be particular about finding the right accommodation for yourself, but also make sure its tenancy contract is clear and easy to understand. It is only if you thoroughly understand its terms and conditions you will then be able to enjoy a less stressful and troubled stay.

If you find some unclear terms or if there’s something you don’t understand on the contract, make sure you clear them and get all your queries answered before signing the contract.

These are the main points that will prove very helpful and useful for you in choosing the perfect student accommodation.

The Thriving Student Property Market

It’s no secret that the student property market is thriving at the moment, being a much safer area for investment than the conventional sector. For that reason it’s not too much of a surprise that it is seeing an influx of interest from investors from all over the world with an array of recent data highlighting development in the market.

One of the reasons for the thriving market is the fact that student numbers seem to be increasing on a regular basis especially international students who want to benefit from a British education as it is one of the most highly regarded in the world.

Every year more and more prospective students from as far as China and India apply to study in the UK as well as those from EU locations. Those students from overseas also spend a lot more money on their education for both tuition and accommodation and with that increased spend comes the demand for higher quality residences. Similarly, domestic students are now opting for property of a higher quality with the traditional student housing stereotypes of crumbling plaster and pizza box décor looking to be something of the past.

Reports from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) have recently stated that since 1999 the number of international students in the UK has doubled to 428,225 with student numbers in total increasing by more than half a million over the past 12 years according to HESA figures.

With the increase of students has come the boom of the property market with demand continually outstripping supply with buy-to-let landlords stating that demand for their properties is either good or excellent. A survey by but-to-let mortgage specialists Paragon Mortgages revealed that 76 percent of landlords felt that demand was good with 70 percent also stating that they feel that the future will be good for the market.

John Heron, Managing Director of Paragon Mortgages said:  “The student rental market is one of the largest specialist components of the private rented sector. 

“Letting student property is appealing to landlords as they usually benefit from higher than average rental yields as rooms tend to be let on an individual basis.”

Yields for student accommodation tend to average at around 6.3 percent and can sometimes be as high as nine percent in comparison to the conventional buy-to-let market where yields are around 4.3 percent.

Heron added: “Landlords who let a proportion of their portfolio to students are feeling positive about the market and their experience of letting to students continues to be good.

“This is an area of the private rented sector which will continue to thrive as long as the demand for university places continues.”

This year has also seen an increase in the rate of investment in the student property market with the total amount spend almost doubling on a year-on-year basis. Research by CBRE demonstrates that nearly £800m has been invested into student property in the first half of 2012, up from £375m in the same period of 2011 suggesting that investors have taken note of the market’s past successes and are hoping to cash in this year and with occupancy rates reportedly standing at around 99 percent, they are likely to succeed.

Jo Winchester, Head of Student Housing Advisory CBRE commented: “There is no shortage of investor demand, but the market is hampered by a shortage of new high quality development opportunities.”

This further highlights the fact that students now require a quality property and those who are investing for the first time should be looking at investing in the finest properties on the market as they are more likely to be leased. Plus with constant rental increases, landlords will be sure to start receiving their rental returns if they have the best property.

Tips for Renting Student Property

There are now 2.4 million students in the UK, many of whom will be looking to rent a property while they are attending university. This is a captive audience and all inner city areas are usually possible to market to appeal to the growing army of students.

It has been reported that in the last year that there has been a phenomenal increase in demand for student accommodation, as much as a forty five percent increase and there is not sign of that trend slowing down for the foreseeable future.
This is a great opportunity for any savvy property investor and you can see big returns on your investment.

What stops a lot of landlords is fear, your property is your investment and you dot want you have that investment trashed now do you and there are always student horror stories aplenty. But in fairness if you take some precautions and use some common sense there is no need not to take advantage of this highly lucrative rental sector.

Remember, when you are dealing with students, they are not likely to have much if any credit history so use a guarantor to secure your property from any damages. Take a high deposit and make sure that the property is well maintained and that it is frequently checked either by you or you’re letting agents.

Not all students live like “The Young Ones”, try to avoid a house of all males, creating a mix if you have a student house can ensure that for every less than ideal student, that you have others living there who will treat the property as their home.
The flipside of this is that student tenants are not that fussy, they won’t expect the best decor or white goods, they won’t be too fussy about being close to bars (this is in fact a selling point for them!).

You can also usually rent a property based on the people rather than the rooms, students need accommodation and they are masters at making do with whatever space they can, often turning living rooms into bed rooms, so three bed properties become four or five. As you rent on a per student basis this can be quite a spike in the overall rental value.

Students are smart, they know they need a roof over the heads and the demand for good accommodation is high; remember to be clear about the do’s and don’ts and what you expect from them as tenants and the rewards will far outweigh the risks.
Many landlords started a commanding property portfolio by being forward thinking and investing in the constant demand for student accommodation and buying good student property, you can do the same.

Student Property Investments in the UK – Get Ready for the Gold Rush

Finally, there is some good news in the markets of the UK home for rent, demand is now outstripping supply. These points to a positive future for the owners that their property should continue to be in high demand and this makes an upward trend in rent increases viable. Renting is a necessity for some sectors of the populations.

But rents and having a good property in a good location is only half the battle for any landlord, any property standing vacant is a drain on your resources so that is why investing in property that targets a high need sector within property makes senses.

One of the consistent needs that all major towns and cities have is student accommodation, the demand is high and this keeps rents at optimum levels, it also results in much less frequent periods of property vanities and that means that your property is a genuine investment, consistently working hard for you.

Get better rental income from letting your property, do not think that students are bad news, high risk tenants; they are actually making some good decisions about their future. Following the recent economic downturn, many young people have decided to pursue a degree or higher qualification rather than entering the labour market where good jobs are in short supply. There are now 2.4 million students in the UK, many of whom will be looking to let a property and that is a very buoyant market to say the least!

Over the last nine months, there was a 45% increase in demand for student housing and the trend should continue. By tapping into this market, the owners of the students can expect to see a better return on their gross investment.

In general, rents are higher for student properties that you can buy a comparable property to let – often by as much as 10%. An owner with the right kind of property in the right place for students can expect better returns on their rental income. It is expected that demand for student lets in cities such as Leeds, London, Manchester and Sheffield will continue to increase, making these ideal places for owners of student suitable properties.

Any owner will tell you that one of their main priorities is to maintain unoccupied periods to a minimum. One advantage of letting property to students is that the house or apartment will have tenants all year. In addition, the owner will be able to prepare and agree the next let months in advance if the property will be required for the following academic year, allowing you to plan ahead.

Student property is hot property and if you don’t have a student property on your portfolio yet then you should seriously consider adding at least one, they are a great investment!

The History of the Student Housing Market

The student housing market in the UK has emerged as a key asset class in the last decade and this trend shows no sign of declining. Despite the debts associated with studying and planned increase in tuition fees, the fact is the UK is in the grip of a recession. Smart young people know that the job market is suffering beyond all belief and that entering the employment market at the moment, for all but the very fortunate will be a time of frustration. Many young people are taking to further education to get a good degree and ride out the worst of the market, after every dip comes a period of growth if you wait long enough.

UCAS says that demand for university courses is at a record high with nearly 700 000 applications the University received in 2010 – that was two years ago and now that number is expected to be closer to the 800,00 application mark. If in any doubt this increase in study has been on the upward trajectory for five years now, with student applications increasing an astonishing 34% in five years between 2005 and 2010.

Historically, growth in the student market has outperformed almost all other rental areas, supply and demand leading this assault on the private property market and the growing awareness that actually, tenants who are students are a good bet! The rental prices in the areas for students will tend to be higher and prevent rental wars dropping down the scale to secure good tenants. Student accommodation rents have experienced a steady growth and it is expected that they will continue to do so.

Any city or town that has or is close to a university will have a student population and this is a hungry market. Invest in a student property not only close the actually universities but those that offer good travel links to get to the place of study. Student life continues to be a social endeavour so close proximity to trendy restaurants and bars will always appeal to students.

There are also trends in the global mobility of students so while local students may not be quick on the uptake of your property if outside of a traditional student area of zone, there are a growing number of foreign students who will flock to accommodation that is marketed towards the student market place. Keep your options open and any good central location can be made to appeal to the highly lucrative student market and it will be a worthy investment and addition to any property portfolio whether this is your first buy to let property or one of many.

8 UK Universities That Have the Biggest Demand for Student Property

If you want to get into the lucrative student rental property market then pretty much every city in the UK has some level of student population and wherever there are students, there is a need and an outright demand for student accommodation.

Some areas have more students than others so here is our top ten lists of University places in the UK based on the student population numbers. This list does not include London as in London generally, the population is split into the boroughs but clearly this is the single largest area so the student area in London is vast. Here is the rest of the UK for you.

Leeds Metropolitan University

Over forty thousand students are in Leeds and this big population. There are a number of universities in Leeds itself like University of Leeds, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds Trinity and All Saints. There are also others nearby in Bradford many that are commutable from Leeds as well as other further education places such as Leeds school of music and Leeds Performing arts school, all with a healthy student body. Many students are in education at the Leeds Metropolitan University, the demand for accommodation is active and this is a very demanding market. Property costs are quite low compared to other areas in the UK so this is a boom investment area.

Manchester

Another northern area with its fair share of universities and this also leads to a very healthy student population. In fact the University of Manchester has almost 40,000 students just under that of Leeds Met. Again property prices are low compared to other areas of the UK, slightly higher than Leeds but again, good investment property to add to your portfolio should not be too hard to find.

Sheffield Hallam University

Sheffield Hallam University has almost 34,000 students, the area is trying to undergo some gentrification and students bring a lot of money into this old mining area. Much of the social scene for young people in Sheffield is geared towards this student intake and again, low property prices can generate solid revenue.

University of Leeds

University of Leeds – Leeds as a locale has already taken the number 1 student spot with Leeds Met at almost 33,500 students the University of Leeds really adds to the cities overall student population. While located in a different area of the city, this volume gives any property investor a double bite at the student property cherry.

Manchester Metropolitan University

Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester’s second largest university is also running at 33,500 students and its volume adds to Manchester’s impressive student population.

Northumbria University

Northumbria University nearly 33,00o students and a beautiful area of the world means that Northumbria has a big draw for property and student areas continue to be a more cost effective purchase.

University of Nottingham

University of Nottingham, also at 32,500 this midlands Uni also has Trent university on its doorstep so the student population continues to dominate many of the inner city areas. More accommodation continues to be needed and so investor opportunities are rife.

University of the West of England

University of the West of England at over 31,500 this is a significant volume of students and the housing is always in great demand.

At just over 30,000 students the University of Plymouth continues to generate students and finally Cardiff University puts welsh students on the map with close to 31,00 students choosing this as their further education destination and home from home.

What Landlords Should Know About Student Property

Ok, thinking of letting to students, know it’s a good market but worried about the risks to the property, their lifestyle and getting the rent paid? These are all common issues that new student landlords face and you are not alone in these concerns.

Kids away from home for the first time, heck we were all young ourselves once and they are not responsible at that age. It is all parties and drink, students, who wants the hassle….?

Well actually there are quite a few benefits of letting to students and investing in the student property market is a very wise move, put the fear behind you and read our straight forward guide to getting started.

Students are not that bad!

Many students actually come straight from home and have been used to certain standard of living and squalor is not one of them. Actually it’s become apparent in recent years that student’s standards have been on the increase and this is evident in the better accommodation being snapped up by the demanding students first.  Don’t let clichés blind you and even if they do – see the next point.

Security deposits

Make sure that any tenant leaves a security deposit, this works well with student households as even if you have one rogue student who fits the stereotype the other students are more likely to exert peer pressure as they will not want to be penalised. Remember that there is the assured short hold tenancy agreement (AST) then you are legally obliged to hold a deposit, this is under a government approved Tenancy deposit protection scheme and it was introduced back in 2004 and became effective in April of 2007. The short explanation here is that legally you cannot withhold a deposit on tenancy exit if they are entitled to it. Check your rights here and ensure you comply so you are fully protected.

Guarantors

In order to avoid the issues of the AST legislation and also it get more of a personal commitment from the student some landlords providing student property may preset to go the guarantor route. Usually the named guarantor is a parent or guardian, simply put if the student fails to meet their rent payments or damage occurs to the property that is their fault and not corrected, then the responsibility and costs will fall to the guarantor. Just make sure that you run the correct checks with credit referenced agents and other bodies to ensure that the guarantor is able to meet the commitments they are agreeing to in the worst case scenario.

Insurance

Get yourself the right insurance, this is landlord insurance and it comes in all shapes and sizes so remember to shop around. Your property is a valuable investment and it needs to be protected. This is the physical building as well as the contents and it is advisable to cover furnishings and white goods as well. Better to be protected and not need it than need it and not have it.

Your responsibilities as landlord

You need to maintain the property and while some students may not have ultra high standards, you will find it easier to rent a student property that is clean and well furnished with good amenities. In terms of health and safety your property will need to have a gas safety certificate issues and make sure all the appliances are checked annually. The same applies to electricity checks, not a requirement but recommended. If you are offering the accommodation part or fully furnished then you need to be covered by fire safety regulations – it covers all soft furnishings and upholstery, check the relevant details to make sure you have all the area covered that you need to.

You need to maintain the property and deal with repairs so if you are self-managing, factoring in time with the students to perform inspections will be advisable, if you have an agent managing the property for you then this responsibility is likely to be covered by them, a recommended route of you don’t want to have being a landlord eating into your time.

Student Housing Market Outlook for 2015

Did you know that there is a vast shortage all over the UK of student accommodation?

Every major city has a university, some more than one and where there is a university there are students and all those students throughout their periods of study, need accommodation.

It is estimated that only fifty percent of all students in the UK have access to high-quality and specifically purpose-built student accommodation. When you look at high dense population areas, it’s expected that this figure declines to even less, somewhere in the region of just twenty percent. This massive shortage means a wonderful investment opportunity is available to any savvy investor.

Doing the maths, it looks like there are almost a hundred thousand students alone in the London area that have a high demand for accommodation and that demand is only ever going to rise! Student property really needs to be conveniently located and by that, we mean close to good areas for socializing and on good public transport links to the university campus. Tick those essential boxes and you will have students knocking down your door in a rush to rent from you.

I appreciate this might sound too good to be true but dense populations spring up in inner city areas that quickly become known as student zones. While this may put off traditional private sales and in some cases cut pricing of private sales of property, for the specific student property expert, this is a perfect situation where you will be able to maximise your return on investment in very quick time. Some good examles of UK locations include Brighton, Plymouth, Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester, Edinburg, Exeter and needless to say London.

If accommodation is purpose-built for students then the quality of student is higher, this means the rental returns are higher and you can also attract overseas students, many of which will not have the budget limitations facing local students. Think of purpose built student accommodation mimicking smaller halls of residence. For this you need ideally a larger property that can be split into studio style rental apartments numbering four or five. If you can get such a property close to or next to the University campus then this will strengthen the purpose built approach and really boarder your student market appeal.

Students are reliable, they rent for set periods of time, and you get plenty of notice of the tenancy ending and can literally replace those tenants with the next student intake. All you need to do is make sure you are ahead of the student calendar and make use of current tenant’s recommendations, word of mouth advertising or post notices within University campus areas or on the host of student accommodation websites. It is unlikely you will ever be short of a hungry demographic.

The UK has always attracted a broad spectrum of investors, but due to the increase of students looking to rent temporary accommodation, there has also been an increase in student property investors. They are essentially buy-to-let investors with a keen focus on the student market.

The UK also offers property investors a strong and consistent annual yield. The property value in the UK can grow much over the years. This mainly due to the active market, high demand and limited amount of land to develop property on.

David Cameron has recently decided to increase the influx of overseas students from India, which means that we will not be seeing a decrease in the demand for student property anytime soon. If you are a property investor I suggest that this is a market worth looking into.

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