London Student Accommodation Delivery Pipeline Falls Short

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Over the past decade the number of international students studying in the UK has continued to grow, with the total population of overseas students studying here reaching over 436,000.

During the same period, London has witnessed growth in international student numbers of 26% as many flock to the capital for its unique global status.

In an attempt to remain internationally competitive, London has seen its universities drive resource into designated student property. King's College London, has reportedly invested £60m into upgrading existing facilities, with an additional £140m side-lined for campus developments.

However, student accommodation remains in short supply in the capital with reports suggesting that over 68% of existing students are unable to access purpose built student accommodation in the city.

The situation also looks like it might worsen in the coming years with only 1,000 new beds scheduled for construction in 2017. This compares to 6,017 new beds that will be completed in 2016.

It's argued that a combination of factors has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of properties scheduled for delivery.

This includes the number of suitable sites, as well as an increase in the value of alternative assets such as residential and offices. Also of note are CIL contributions, section 106 requirements and a drive to introduce affordable housing into student developments in London, which makes sites unviable.

It's anticipated that the problem could become more severe as student developments do not contribute to local authority housing targets.