Lack of Student Beds set to Remain High Despite Strong PBSA Pipeline

New report indicates that the current full-time students to student bed ratio is 3:1

The UK’s purpose built student accommodation (PBSA) sector is set to see its supply increase by 4.3% by the 2018/19 academic year, according to a UK Student Housing Update by leading estate agent Knight Frank.

According to the agency, there are currently 23,000 PBSA units in the pipeline for the start of the next academic year, and a further 11,000 under construction or in the planning process for the 2019/20 academic year – a number that may rise if more developments receive planning approval.

Despite this increase, the new units are unlikely to offset the current undersupply of student accommodation in the UK, as Knight Frank estimates that the number of full-time students in the UK surpasses the supply of PBSA by 3:1.

Furthermore, with universities struggling to keep up with the demand for student accommodation, the private sector has risen as the main provider for future PBSA.

The private sector is forecast to account for 84% and 74% of the total supply of student beds delivered for the 2018/19 and 2019/20 academic years respectively.

Trends are also shifting towards more affordable accommodation, according to the report, however, ‘well-located assets in strong markets will prosper and demonstrate high occupancy and rental growth at all price points’ says Knight Frank.

Commenting on the report, the Head of Global Real Estate at Global Student Accommodation (GSA), Tim Mitchell said:

‘Acknowledging the challenges impacting the wider housing market, we see the absolute necessity of providing more good quality accommodation for students.’

‘The UK maintains its reputation for having some of the finest academic institutions globally and there will continue to be high demand for well-maintained PBSA in good locations from both home and international students,’ he continued.