UK student property investment: Location number one priority for students

UK student property investment: Location number one priority for students

The largest-ever survey of British student accommodation has found that location is the key driver of happiness among those living in purpose-built student accommodation, underlining the need for investors to focus on prime sites in tier one university cities.



  • Location, along with quality and the ability to live with friends, were ranked as the most important factors for UK students living in purpose-built student accommodation
  • Satisfaction levels were also determined by whether students feel that their homes deliver value for money
  • The UK purpose-built student property market is set to reach a value of £50 billion by 2019, underlining the continued demand from global investors

Want the best returns from UK student property? Ensure you’ve bought in only the very best locations for students.

That’s because a new survey, the largest of its kind ever undertaken in the student sector, has ranked the factors that drive the most happiness from purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) – and location came out on top.

Jointly conducted by UCAS and Knight Frank, the survey asked students across the UK living in different sectors of the student property market for their views on their term-time accommodation.

Of those living in PBSA, living in the very best location was the key driver of satisfaction, followed by having the option to live with friends, and the overall quality of the accommodation.

The findings illustrate the rise in demand for brand-led PBSA; homes that are not only situated in the central locations close to universities but those that can also transform the overall university experience.

30% of first-year students in full-time education in the UK now live in PBSA, underlining the rising demand for this type of accommodation. The research also found that 97% of students regard value for money as being important to them when selecting their homes, indicating that many will be happy to pay a premium to ensure they have the best facilities in the best locations.

James Pullan, Global Head of Student Property at Knight Frank, commented: “The private sector now accounts for the majority of new PBSA development, and, as universities become more reliant on outside investment to provide new PBSA, greater focus is likely to be placed on the strength of the relationship between the private sector and universities.”

“The ability for both to work together and bring new product and innovation to market will be key to future success.”

It’s expected that the value of the UK’s PBSA market will reach £50 billion by the end of 2019.

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