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Student Accommodation Research: Q4-2021 Update

Posted by Richard Ward

Latest UCAS Numbers
The very latest data released recently by UCAS shows the number of acceptances from EU students declined significantly for 2021-22, with numbers down by more than 50%. This is in line with previous data released by UCAS post results day. Similarly, total acceptances were down by 1.5% year-on-year.

Higher tariff providers were also the only institutions to report year-on-year growth in acceptances (1.33%), with medium and lower tariff providers reporting declines of 3.72% and 1.88% respectively.

For more information on the latest UCAS numbers see our latest post here.

Chinese Student Visas
The number of Chinese student visas being issued has rebounded significantly. For the year ending September 2021, a total of 135k were issued. This represents a year-on-year increase of 157.0%.

More importantly, the figure is also up compared to pre-pandemic levels, with 13.3% more visas issued in the 12-month period compared to 2018-19. Whilst the latest figures could have been impacted by those deferring last year, the recovery is a sign of positivity. Whether Omicron will dampen students' appetite to travel to the UK is yet to be seen but we should gain a clearer picture when the next figures are released.

Figure 1: Chinese Sponsored Study Visas Issued

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Source: Gov.uk

Planning
There was a slight decline in planning application activity in the last quarter with a total of 6,700 beds submitted. This compares to more than 8,500 units lodged in the previous three months.

Figure 2: Planning Application Activity (Beds Submitted)

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Source: StuRents Ltd

Most of the new beds that were put forward in the last quarter were in London, thanks largely to three significant new developments.

However, some of the most notable updates in the last quarter include:

Submissions
1. Unite Students 843-bed scheme on the site of Travis Perkins in Harrow Road, London
2. Summix FRB Developments Ltd's proposed 595-bed scheme in Bristol, which is to be managed by Unite Students
3. A 545-bed project in Edinburgh, submitted by Tynecastle Teague Limited
4. A 374-bed development in Bristol on land bounded by Redcliff Street, St Thomas Street and Three Queens Lane
5. The submission of a 367-bed development in Leicester

Approvals
1. The University of Exeter received planning for a substantial 1,504-bed project
2. 850 new beds were approved in Great Marlborough Street, Manchester
3. The 705-bed Arena Point scheme in Leeds received the green light
4. Unite Students received planning permission for its 690-bed development in Nottingham
5. A 558-bed project in Baltic Street, Edinburgh was approved

Planning Split
Of those beds in the pipeline where the floors plans are known, a significant proportion are studio units, which equate to ~35% of the units due to be delivered. The second most abundant size is ensuite clusters arranged in groups of 6 (12.9%), followed by 8 bed ensuite clusters (10.6%).

However, the proportion of studios in the pipeline varies significantly by location. In Coventry, StuRents estimates that 59% of proposed beds consist of studios, whilst in Nottingham, this figure stands at 40%. Of course, it is unlikely all these units will be delivered, but it's interesting to note the makeup of the supply pipeline in the context of the current market, particularly in Coventry given the challenges the city has faced since the onset of Covid.

Figure 3: Pipeline Split (National)

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Source: StuRents Ltd

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