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Student Accommodation Research: Growth in PBSA Changing Market Fundamentals

Posted by Richard Ward

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Growth in the supply of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) has been prolific in recent years, with 34,409 beds delivered in 2019 alone, representing an increase of 5.3% year-on-year.

However, the distribution of new supply, both in percentage terms and absolute bed numbers varies substantially per location. This is highlighted in the image below, with locations such as Bournemouth recording a 27.5% increase in 2019, representing an additional 1,379 beds. In comparison, York reported year-on-year growth of just 1.0%.

PBSA Growth 2019 max-width:100 height=

This new supply is also changing the maximum provision of PBSA available to students, with the PBSA provision in mature markets such as Liverpool reaching an eye watering ~68%.

Whilst this figure is much lower in certain locations, it should not be viewed in isolation to determine if a market is undersupplied, as a shortage in PBSA does not equate to a shortage in available beds.

Furthermore, the delivery of new student accommodation is also changing the average size of PBSA, which now stands at 243 beds per site, compared to 240 in the previous year. This figure increases to 342 beds when only considering the top 10 largest private PBSA operators, suggesting scale continues to be a key strategy for the largest players.

The extract above has been taken from our 2019 UK Student Accommodation Annual Report. To understand more about our market leading analytics and to receive a copy of the report register here.

About StuRents:
- StuRents is one of the leading proptech partners in the UK student accommodation space

- StuRents operates, the largest student-centric accommodation search platform, listing over 750,000 bed spaces nationwide

- Beyond search, StuRents facilitates integrated online tenancy signing, tenancy payments and app-based tenancy management solutions

- This unique, vertically integrated end-to-end solution underpins StuRents' data insights and research capabilities