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Are Domestic and International Accommodation Budgets Worlds Apart?

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Key Findings

  • In the most recent quarter, search budgets of Chinese students were 37% higher than domestic students
  • Search budgets of Indian students are slightly lower than domestic students
  • The discrepancy in budgets between Chinese and UK students varies drastically by location
  • The month with the highest number of searches by domestic students is November, when 17% of searches were made last year
  • International students search for accommodation later in the cycle. Indian searches peak as late as August

Budgets by Country

Source: StuRents

This chart shows the average quarterly search budgets of students from China, Singapore, the UK and India.

The data shows that search budgets of students from China are consistently higher than other countries. Budgets averaged £219 in the most recent quarter.

Indian and domestic students generally have similar budgets.

International student figures are often used as an indicator of demand. However, it is important to further break down demand profiles to enable us to better understand potential risks as well as opportunities. Growth in Indian student numbers in a location would not be an indicator for increased demand for, often expensive, PBSA accommodation.

China vs UK Search Budgets by City

Source: StuRents

This chart shows average search budgets from this academic year for Chinese and domestic students in particular cities. The prior year's budgets are also indicated by the markers.

The data shows that the discrepancy in budgets between domestic and Chinese students is more evident in some UK cities than others.

In Brighton, Chinese search budgets were 79% higher than UK budgets, averaging at £253 compared to £141 for UK students. Bristol also showed an extreme variance, with Chinese budgets of £262 compared to £185 for domestics.

In all of these locations, the disparity in budgets is much more extreme this year than in the prior year. Whilst UK budgets have increased in all of the locations, budgets of incoming Chinese students have grown much more.

Monthly Searches by Country

Source: StuRents

This chart shows the proportion of searches made by domestic, Indian, and Chinese students in each month of the year.

The data shows that domestic searches peak very early in the academic cycle. 17% of searches are made in November. This trend is known to be more extreme in some markets than others.

International searches peak much later in the cycle. 18% of searches made by Indian students occur as late as August.

PBSA accommodation hoping to attract domestic students would need to consider that they must market earlier in the cycle in order not to miss most of the demand.

Read more on this

The StuRents Research Team delve deeper into these insights, and much more, in our upcoming Annual Report.

Sign up to join us for our Webinar on 19/10/23 at 1pm. We will explore both the opportunities and challenges the sector faces.


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