Student accommodation one of the best investment opportunities in the UK

New research has concluded that student accommodation is one of the UK’s leading investment opportunities due to the excellent rental return and opportunities for growth available.

The report, compiled by the Mistoria Group, assessed the market and established that student property remains an excellent investment option, with high rental return and the potential for capital appreciation driving market interest in the sector.

Following the surge of applications in the wake of university place restrictions being lifted, the demand for accommodation in the UK’s undersupplied student towns and cities has risen rapidly. With universities struggling to provide accommodation, it has fallen to the private sector to create new developments.

These purpose built student accommodation blocks offer high quality student studio apartments and rooms, offering students an alternative to the traditional student ‘digs’, becoming a more significant part of the market.

The region that has experienced the greatest increase in rental return has been the North West. Reaching up to 13% in the first three quarters of 2014, the rate is much higher than the UK average of 6.37% estimated earlier this year and standing 5-6% higher than the UK’s buy-to-let residential market.

The strength of the rental return and the rate of growth in the student market have led to the rate of investment in the sector dramatically increasing. According to the report, billion was invested in 2013, demonstrating that investors are continuing to see the student accommodation market as an excellent investment, with 2014’s total expected to surpass this figure.

Buy-to-let Britain continuing to grow

According to new research, there are now almost two million landlords in the UK.

The figures suggest that the rapid growth of the UK’s buy-to-let market has seen trillion worth of property become owned by landlords within the UK.

Compiled from various sources by specialist lender Paragon, the report highlights how dramatically home ownership has changed in the past 20 years – since the beginning of the UK’s buy-to-let market.

The number of landlords within the UK has now risen to just under two million, a significant increase from the tens of thousands who let properties in 1996. This surge of new landlords has accumulated an estimated total of 4.9 million properties in the UK market worth an estimated bn.

The report suggests that landlords now own 18% of all homes within the UK, with figures indicating that this proportion will continue to increase over the coming years. It is estimated that there will be an additional one million rental properties in the UK over the next 5 years.

Unlike much of the UK economy, the buy-to-let market has recorded some of the fastest growth since the financial crisis of 2008-09.

Between the years of 1986 and 2012, approximately 5 million homes were built in the UK, of which just over half are now owned by private landlords and are let out to tenants. In the same period, the proportion of social rented units has drastically fallen whilst owner-occupied homes have also slowly decreased.

The financial crisis also had an impact on the makeup of landlords in the UK. With dramatic cuts to the funding available to landlords, properties were solely available to cash-rich purchasers. However, landlord renting is now growing quicker than before, with more than 700 buy-to-let mortgage deals currently being brokered, with bn lent last year in total.

Student accommodation investment surges in 2014

The last two years have seen a surge of investment in the UK’s student accommodation market, according to a new research.

Throughout 2012 and 2013, there have been up to billion worth of transactions have been on completed and off-plan developments, creating a student property boom for property purchasers in the sector.

Early data for 2014, compiled by Savills, indicates that million has been invested in student accommodation so far this year, already exceeding the level of investment made in 2013 over the same period and vastly surpassing 2012’s figures.

With student property to the value of bn currently on the market, the report predicts that the transacted total for 2014 could reach as high as bn, which would be a new annual market record for the student accommodation sector.

Lowest number of empty properties in the UK ever as housing market improves

The number of empty homes in the UK is at its lowest ever level according to new research.

Charity Empty Homes has revealed that the number of vacant homes has fallen by 75,000 in the past year, making it the largest annual drop on record.

The UK’s growing districts and cities were responsible for some of the largest reductions with Birmingham achieving the largest drop of 2,889 homes. Meanwhile, Gateshead saw a fall of 1,064, Leeds filled an extra 1,454 homes and Lambeth saw a significant decrease of 1,205.

The capital saw its vacancy rate dip below 2% for the first time, with only 59,313 properties empty. While the number of empty houses throughout London remained steady, individual areas such as Camden, Hounslow and Ealing saw the number of empty properties decrease, presenting excellent investment opportunities.

The improving housing market, government support for those looking to buy and changes to council taxation have been suggested as factors in the massive decrease in empty homes.