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Investment in UK student housing sector surpasses the £2 billion mark in 2013

Overseas buyers accounted for over half of the £2.1 billion investment ploughed into the UK’s student housing sector in 2013.

Investment in UK student accommodation reached £2.1 billion during the course of 2013, as the sector continues to rise in popularity.

Overseas buyers accounted for over half (52%) of the total investment, marking a significant rise from 2011, when the figure stood at 23%.

Regional investment in student housing has flourished outside of London, with 88% of the £2.1 billion going towards regional schemes across 30 cities and towns.

Cities such as Manchester, Coventry and Swansea have been highlighted as magnets for investors seeking large scale opportunities with high yields.

Experts pointed to figures from UCAS revealing a 4% rise in applications to UK universities compared to last year, which is underpinning growth in the UK student accommodation sector.

Jo Winchester, Head of Student Housing Advisory at CBRE, said: “Investor appetite for student accommodation is growing, as there is a structural undersupply across many UK towns and cities.”

She added that the rise in applications had led to “consistently high occupancy rates in purpose-build student accommodation”.

Global interest

With the number of students worldwide jumping from 98 million in 2000 to 165 million in 2011, student accommodation has become an increasingly popular investment across the globe.

In fact, figures from Knight Frank show that the sector has transformed from a fringe investment to a global market worth $200 billion worldwide in just 10 years.

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