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#47 Leicester
City Point
Poets Place Buy To Let Liverpool
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City Point Liverpoool
Poets Place Liverpool Investment Property

Student property investment has long been considered a high performing asset class for those who want to purchase a buy-to-let property. Students in both the UK and elsewhere tend to move to new cities to pursue their studies, which is where the need for student housing comes in. Those who need a place to stay while studying won’t be in any position to buy student accommodation themselves, which is why investors purchase these properties and offer them as rental accommodation.


Here at RW Invest, we specialise in two types of UK buy to let investments — student and residential. For those of you that are keen to find out more about the student buy-to-let market in the UK and the best university cities to focus on, read on for our detailed guide to investing in student accommodation.

Student Property Investment Guide
Student Property Investment Guide

Student accommodation investment UK


 The buy-to-let student market is thriving in the UK, with student investment properties now being considered one of the best additions to any property portfolio. The popularity of student accommodation investment has grown significantly over the years. So much so, that the entire market is expected to be worth over £50 billion to the UK economy by the end of 2019.


The UK is home to a number of world-famous universities, boasting three of the world’s top ten universities. Scholars from around the globe head to the UK for their studies each year, increasing the popularity of the student property investment Liverpool, Manchester, and many more major cities offer.


While it’s always been a popular option to invest in student accommodation, the changing attitudes of today’s students have played a big part in the popularity of student property investment in the UK. Today’s students are now far more discerning than in the past, moving their attention away from typical shared student housing and leaning towards more high-spec accommodation. Certain students, such as those who would favour private halls over shared ones, are now prepared to pay larger rental costs for accommodation that better suits their standards. This means that property investors are putting their money towards finding a student investment property for sale with luxury designs and features, and it’s certainly paying off.


Why invest in student property?


You should buy student accommodation as an investment due to the potential to make large returns due to affordable purchase prices, high yields, and soaring levels of demand. For instance, student property investment can generate yields of 8 per cent or above in certain parts of the UK.


Invest in student accommodation for high levels of demand


The number of students choosing to enrol in UK universities is increasing, boosting the overall demand for student accommodation. Attending university is now a much more popular route to take, with record numbers of young people being accepted onto a university course in 2018. As a whole, a huge 2.3 million students were recorded within UK institutions during 2017 and 2018.  So is student accommodation a good investment due to these large student numbers?

student buy to let infographic

One of the most important rules for any buy-to-let investment is to make sure you don’t experience any void periods. A void period is a period of time where your property is without a tenant, and therefore, you’re not generating any rental income. The more in-demand your property is, the less chance you have of experiencing this, which is why owning a student investment property is considered such an attractive venture.


Those from overseas countries make up a larger proportion of the UK’s student population. In 2016/17, the UK welcomed around 450,000 foreign students. The number of overseas students studying in the UK has helped the United Kingdom to secure a title as the country with the world’s second-largest group of international students, after the US. You can find out more information in our student market report.

Both the world-class education and positive rates of student satisfaction have likely contributed to the surge in overseas students. A recorded 91 per cent of international higher education students claim to be satisfied with their university experience in the UK. While overseas student numbers are already high, it’s estimated that they will continue to grow over the coming years. Over the next five years, the new percentage of international students in the UK is set to rise by around 15 to 20 per cent. This makes now the ideal time to find a student accommodation investment opportunity.


Generate high student accommodation investment yields


Returns are considered a major factor of any investment. After all, the higher the yield, the better returns for the investor. Student accommodation investment yields are notoriously high, which is why so many people are attracted by this investment sector.  Student accommodation is typically cheaper to purchase than residential properties. However, the rental costs for student properties remain high, especially for those with a more luxury, high-end feel. This means that those who get involved with UK student accommodation investment can benefit from higher yields than they would with some other real estate investments.


As with any property investment, the location has a lot to do with the type of yields you can expect to see. That’s why it’s important to research the areas with the best yields and those that stand out the most when looking for student accommodation for sale.

Owning a student investment property near university campuses of a city is a good place to start to better your chances of securing high paying tenants and generating better rental yields. Along with being located near universities, however, the property should also be in proximity to the city centre. This allows residents to easily access transport links, bars and restaurants, and other attractions.


When looking for a student property for sale, investors should seek out qualities like high-speed internet, modern design and furnishings, and round the clock security and maintenance. By doing this, you can hopefully secure those higher-paying tenants and boost rental income from your buy-to-let student property. Combine a more luxury property investment opportunity with a prime location for investing, like Liverpool or Manchester, and your chances of securing attractive yields become even higher.

Best Yields UK

Benefit from the high capital growth that comes with student investment properties


Along with demand and rental returns, capital appreciation is a big part of all investment strategies and another major element to consider when finding student accommodation for sale. By the end of 2019, the student property sector is estimated to be worth £53.2 billion — that’s a 72 per cent rise in value since 2014. With the student property market growing in value so rapidly, and the student population ever increasing, things are looking bright when it comes to the future of student property investment.


The likelihood of the resale value of student accommodation rising is made even larger in the north-west region. North-west cities, Liverpool and Manchester, benefit from some of the most attractive rates of house price growth, exceeding any other UK region. By July 2018, figures revealed a yearly growth of 5.6 per cent in the region, compared to a 0.7 per cent year on year drop in London. Fast forward to 2022, and this house price growth is predicted to continue, with a 21.6 per cent increase in the pipeline.


Where are the best places to invest in student property in the UK?


The best places to buy a student investment property in the UK are cities with large student populations and high performing property markets. Cities in the north-west – Liverpool and Manchester – present some of the best student accommodation investment opportunities.

Liverpool Student Market

Student property investment Liverpool


Liverpool is considered one of the best places to invest in student property. Widely known as one of the UK’s most exciting cities, buying a student investment property in this city has become a popular buy-to-let strategy.


Liverpool’s student scene is booming


Of course, in order to succeed with student property investment, there needs to be a lot of demand. With such a rich culture, thriving leisure and nightlife scene, and excellent educational prospects, Liverpool welcomes high numbers of students year after year, with a student population of over 70,000.

Students from all around the UK and overseas choose to study at Liverpool’s reputable institutions, including the University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moore’s University, and Liverpool Hope University. Edge Hill University is also just a short train ride away from the city centre, based in the West Lancashire town of Ormskirk.


Liverpool boasts one of the UK’s highest performing property markets 


Aside from the high student numbers and resultingly high levels of demand, Liverpool’s property investment market is another reason why the city makes the perfect location to invest in student buy-to-let. Liverpool is a city known for its attractive property prospects, boasting higher average rental yields and lower property prices than many other UK cities.


Many areas in Liverpool generate returns of over 7 per cent, including our City Point development, which is based amid the £150 million Project Jennifer regeneration scheme and offers yields of 8 per cent. Located just a short walk away from Liverpool John Moore’s University, along with offering fantastic capital growth potential, City Point is the perfect option for those who want to buy an investment property near university campuses and ticks all the boxes for a lucrative venture.


Liverpool capital growth is also something worth shouting about. In the last year, Liverpool property prices have risen by 5.7 per cent. This is compared to an average growth of 1.7 per cent over the country as a whole, and negative growth in London. While the student property investment London offers is a popular option, these slow rates of growth put Liverpool in a much stronger light. Student developments which are built in some of Liverpool’s most up and coming regeneration areas are likely to feel the benefit of this attractive growth, seeing significant capital appreciation.

Student property investment Manchester


Just a short train ride or drive down the M62, and you reach Manchester. Manchester is another of the UK’s property investment hotspots, with some of the best yields and house price growth in the country. Much like Liverpool, Manchester has demand for student property in its favour, attracting over 90,000 students across institutions in the city.


Manchester is a top student city


Investment in Manchester is so popular when it comes to UK student property investment. Manchester is viewed as one of the UK’s best student cities, with a track record of fantastic universities and great quality of life for residents. The University Of Manchester benefits from being the largest single-site university in the country, while the University of Salford makes another fantastic choice for student enrollments and offers a mixture of different course types.

With such high student numbers, the choices of student property investment Manchester offers are attracting a lot of demand from students seeking quality accommodation which is well-located and equipped with everything they need. Some of the most popular areas for students in Manchester include Manchester city centre and Salford. Both these areas are close to university campuses and are based right in the hustle and bustle of Manchester’s culture and nightlife scene, providing the perfect student experience.

Many young people are moving away from the capital to live and work in Manchester, and this is likely true for students too. Student property investment in London is suffering compared to Northern cities as investors want to attract better yields, growth, and tenant demand. If you want to invest in UK areas with a lot of student demand, Manchester is the ideal investment location to consider.


Manchester has some of the UK’s best rental yields and growth prospects


Manchester is consistently voted one of the UK’s best areas for buy-to-let investments. Average rental yields for Manchester property come to 5.55 per cent, with some postcodes such as the M14 area generating yields of up to 10.1 per cent. This suggests that for individual investors seeking student accommodation investment for sale with strong returns, Manchester makes a prime contender.


Considered one of the fastest-growing cities in the UK, those who purchase student property in Manchester are likely to benefit from an attractive rate of capital growth. In 2018, Manchester saw a recorded property price increase of 7.7 per cent over the twelve months to July. Many up and coming Manchester areas, such as Salford Quays, are popular student spots. This means that your likelihood of capital growth is made even higher when purchasing a student pod in a prime Manchester postcode.



Commonly asked questions about student accommodation investment


It’s common to still have some questions before you make your first student accommodation investment in the UK. Here are a few of our most frequently asked questions, along with some detailed answers to give you a bit more clarity.


Is student accommodation a good investment?


Student accommodation is a good investment, provided you do your research and purchase your buy-to-let student property wisely. Look for student developments in cities with thriving student populations, along with strong capital growth and high rental yields. This will allow you to generate the most attractive student accommodation investment yields.

Should I Invest In The Manchester Buy To Let Market

How do I invest in student accommodation?


To invest in student accommodation, you should first research the student accommodation investment market. This will help you find out more about the best locations to invest in, and get a better idea of how far your investment budget can take you.


Once you’ve found a student investment property you’re interested in, you should get in touch with the company offering the investment. If you’ve been drawn to one of our investments, make sure to contact us today. The RW Invest team are always happy to be your investment guide, talking you through your next student investment and helping you find the perfect opportunity for you.

Why should I invest in student property over residential?


There are lots of benefits to investing in student property instead of residential. The main benefit of investing in a student buy to let property is the affordability of student properties compared to residential investments, paired with highly coveted rental yields.


Figures show that student rents throughout the country have been growing in price by around 3.5 to 4.5 per cent year on year, increasing the appeal of the UK’s student property market. When you buy a student property at a low price, such as our City Point development which is priced from just £59,995, the soaring levels of demand and increasing rental costs mean you benefit from some great net yields for an assured income. You can find more about student investment property in our detailed student market report.


Since you only rent your student property to one tenant group – students – things can be simpler than with residential investments where you could attract a wide range of tenants. Students have often been hailed as one of the best types of tenants to let to, as they tend to pay their rents promptly without missing any payments, especially if a parent or guardian is involved.


Should I buy an off-plan or refurbishment student property?


There are a number of benefits to buying off-plan student properties. This includes the fact that off-plan investments are often offered at a lower rate, and boast excellent capital growth potential, with a good chance of increasing in value even before the property is completed.


We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our investors guide to purpose built student accommodation. For more property news, read our latest blog posts to find out more about the UK student property market. If you want to move forward with your next student investment, make sure to contact us today and a member of our team can provide you with information on our latest opportunities.

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