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Student Accommodation, We’re onto a Winner

May 4, 2010Article by Ray Withers

Student accommodation investment is one of the fastest growing niches within the UK’s buy-to-let sector, according to international property investment consultancy Property Frontiers, who have just taken on their second student accommodation investment in Liverpool. According to the firm student accommodation is one of the safest and potentially most lucrative of not only UK buy to let investments, but of all global property investment products.

The population of Liverpool’s universities alone is currently 80,000, so you can imagine the number of those who cannot fit into the provided halls of residence at the three universities — even counting out the locals that is still a sizeable overhang, not to mention those who choose to live off-campus. What’s more with the British population continuing to grow, so to will the rate at which demand outstrips supply of student accommodation.

David Cox, director of the firm said:

“We have just taken on our second student accommodation investment product in Liverpool, a: because of the success of the first, and b: because the model is so safe, and the returns so strong that it is hard to find any downside.

“Most students want to live off-campus with a bit of freedom, and it is that sector of the student accommodation market which is most under-supplied. What’s more, because supply is growing much slower than demand, occupancy, which is currently running at 97% (100% minus the holidays) in the best locations, will remain strong.

Property Frontiers are currently marketing the Streatlam Towers development in Liverpool. Streatlam Towers is a block of purpose built student “pods”, which are sold as individual units.

“Our new product, just like the one before it has all tenants agreed and contracted for the coming year at yields of 10.01%. It is easy to see why we are expecting this product to sell out as quickly as its predecessor,” Cox said.

The development is located in the midst of Liverpool’s three Universities, and is also near the colleges. The pods are studios priced at £40,000 and the investment is fully managed by a long-standing management company, specialising in the field. The block also has a communal gym and computer room.

“The great thing about these types of product, is that the tenants can stay on once they leave university. If or when they move on to bigger and better things, you simply refer to the waiting list for your next tenant(s),” explained Cox.


Ray Withers

Ray has over 17 years’ experience in the international property market and bought his own first international property investment back in 2002. Aside from running Property Frontiers, Ray has been involved in residential, hotel, student and commercial property investment and development in both the UK and overseas and co-wrote "Where to Buy Property Abroad - An Investor's Guide". As Founder and Trustee of the Frontiers Foundation, Ray is directly involved with many of its projects to ensure they have a direct and tangible impact in individual communities across the globe. He is passionate about property, travelling, scouting out new opportunities and finding time to spend with his young family.
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