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Student Accommodation Development at Highest Level Since 2008

Construction of purpose-built student accommodation in the UK surpassed 4,500 units in 2015 according to new figures.

Student Property Construction Increases 2015

Construction of purpose-built student accommodation in the UK surpassed 4,500 units in 2015 according to new figures.

Industry analysts Barbour ABI have revealed that the number of units completed last year was the highest since the 2008 financial crisis, with construction volume increasing by 26% compared to 2014.


The demand for new student accommodation projects from the UK property investment market has led to a five-year high in production, with more than £2.3 billion being spent on the construction of new purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) developments in the UK.


The UK’s student accommodation market reached a new record high in 2015, with more than £6 billion being invested in the asset class, easily exceeding the previous peak of £2.2 billion in 2014.


Last year, the government imposed restriction on the number of students who can attend UK universities was removed, allowing universities to accept greater numbers to enrol on their courses. The resultant uptake has lead universities and developers alike to anticipate the growth in demand for accommodation, with 2,117 units commissioned for construction in the final quarter of 2015 alone.


Michael Dall, lead economist at Barbour ABI said, ‘As investor appetite remains high for student housing, I expect it will be at the forefront for many contractors over the coming years’.


The demand for PBSA developments in the UK has led to prominent corporations such as Goldman Sachs entering the market. In January, the company merged their Prodigy Living portfolio, co-owned with Greystar, with the Wellcome Trust’s iQ portfolio to form the Vero Group, a new joint venture designed to specifically focus on student accommodation.

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