With £3.8 billion of investment already behind us in the record-breaking first half of 2015, property firm JLL is predicting that the investment boom is set to continue. Unsurprisingly, much of this further investment will likely flow in to London - and with good reason.
Students are often lucrative, and a recent study by London First has shown that international students bring a net benefit to London of £2.3 billion per annum and support 60,000 jobs. International student numbers in the capital have increased by 50% over the last 10 years and with student number caps recently lifted, student intakes all over look set to continue.
The provision of university managed accommodation has not kept track with increases in student numbers over the last 10 years, let alone the projected increases. The private accommodation market has grown to accommodate current numbers and will of course need to in future. Much of this has been taken up by HMOs and smaller flat shares, but much of the investment (and much of the money made in the private sector) has been focused on the Purpose Built Student Accommodation Sector.
For PBSAs in London the future looks bright. Much of the city's PBSAs are taken up by overseas and postgrad students, and over the next 10 years their numbers look set to explode. Philip Hillman, chairman of JLL's Alternative Division, said "'We have seen extraordinary growth in UK student numbers over the past 20 years and while UK student numbers are now stabilised, international student numbers set to rise dramatically in the next decade. The provision of good quality student accommodation was traditionally the responsibility of the universities but in recent years, most new accommodation had been provided by private investors and developers."
The projected growth in numbers and the current potential for profit in the London student accommodation market seems irresistible for investors. Based on current indicators, this looks set to continue.