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Student Vs Residential Property: What Should I Invest In?

Are you a beginner investor? An experienced investor? Or just someone who already owns an investment property but is looking to grow a wider portfolio?

Whatever your investment status, the topic of student vs residential property is likely something you’ve thought about.

For many people, choosing the type of investment property to buy is a difficult step.

You want to be sure that the property you invest in offers attractive buy to let returns while also fitting your budget and personal goals.

This article will help you understand whether student vs residential property in the UK is right for you.

Here, you’ll learn about the pros and cons of each property type and discover investment opportunities for both student and residential buy to let in the UK.

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What’s the Difference Between Student Vs Residential Property UK?

So what is the difference between purpose-built student accommodation and residential property?

The main difference between the two property types is in the name itself.

Student housing is rented only to students, while residential property can be rented by a wide range of tenant groups.

This makes the decision-making process easier for those who want to target a particular tenant type with their buy to let investment.

Those who want to rent to students, for instance, will opt for student housing as the obvious choice.

Another big difference between student vs residential property is the cost.

Student properties are often lower priced.

This is mainly down to the size of each property, with student properties often being studio flats.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Student Property and Residential Property?

Thanks to a combination of high rental yields and strong capital appreciation potential, student and residential property both represent a solid buy to let investment.

Amy Jackson, RWinvest

How Can I Decide Between Student Vs Residential Property?

Now that you’ve read the pros and cons of each property type, how do you decide whether student property or residential property is the best choice for you?

There are several things you need to think about:

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Your budget



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Your investment goals



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Your investment location



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Your target tenant



Your Budget

If you have a lower budget, let’s say, £50k, you will find investing in the student market easier due to the price of student properties.

Right now at RWinvest, we have student investment opportunities from just £59,995.

Investors can pay for the property either in full or by splitting payments into smaller chunks. Better still, our student accommodation offers rental yields of up to 8%.

However, this isn’t to say that those buying residential property need to have a huge budget available.

Even investors with budgets of around £100k can explore some incredibly lucrative residential investment opportunities.

Our residential buy to let properties currently start at just £74,950 for our latest investment opportunity, ELEMENT – The Quarter.

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Your Investment Goals

What do you hope to gain from investing in the property market?

Do you want high rental returns, the highest possible capital growth, or a combination of the two?

Knowing your investment goals paints a clearer picture and helps you choose a property to invest in.

As you may know already, combining high rental yields with strong capital appreciation potential is the recipe to a solid buy to let investment.

With this in mind, both student and residential property are beneficial.

However, residential property investment does have a slight upper hand in this regard.

Residential property and student property both have high potential rental yields, especially if investing in a city like Liverpool.

With capital growth, however, the residential property market is often more attractive.

Residential property prices in the UK have grown by record highs, with an increase of 50.1% between 2010 and 2020.

Invest in ELEMENT – The Quarter From Just £74,950

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Your Investment Location

We know that location is important when selecting a buy to let venture, but what does location have to do with the property type you choose?

If you choose to invest in student property in an area with low student numbers, you’re setting yourself up to fail.

The same goes for investing in residential property in an area that doesn’t have a large population of young people.

You may already know which area you want to invest in, so it’s important to research the housing market in this area before buying a property.

For many popular buy to let cities like Liverpool, both student vs residential properties are an attractive option.

This is because the population of student and young professionals in the city is high.

In other areas that may not be popular university cities, student investment is likely a no-go.

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Your Target Tenant

Lastly, an obvious factor you’ll want to consider before choosing your property type is the group of tenants you’re going to target.

Do you want to rent solely to students? Or would you prefer to rent to young professionals living in the fast-paced city centre?

Alternatively, would you rather rent to both?

While it’s rare to rent your property out to both types of tenant, it’s possible in some instances.

Take our latest investment property, ELEMENT – The Quarter.

ELEMENT – The Quarter is a mixed-use development that allows investors to rent the property to post-graduate students and typical young professional tenants.

This is a great way to combine the benefits of both student and residential property.

ELEMENT – The Quarter is located within walking distance to Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter, which includes the Royal Liverpool Hospital and campuses at the University of Liverpool.

The development is also close to great transport links and local attractions that appeal to all tenant groups.

3 Units Remaining

The Summit

Stylish Baltic Triangle Living

Liverpool Prices from £139,950

Assured 7% NET Rental Yields

15-20% Below Market Value

Invest From £35,000

ELEMENT - The Quarter

North West's First Eco-Development

Liverpool Prices from £74,950

8% NET Rental Return

300m Away From New £1bn Royal Hospital

10% Deposit

Off Market Manchester Apartments

Premium Residential Investment

Manchester Prices from £219,112

5.5% NET Rental Return

10% Deposit Required

Thinking About Investing? Contact RWinvest Today

If you’ve enjoyed our guide to student vs residential property investment and you would like to find out more about the latest opportunities to invest in the UK market, get in touch today.

At RWinvest, we currently have some amazing student property investment opportunities and residential properties for sale, all offering high yields in great UK areas.

If you’d like to discuss our available properties, or you’re still feeling unsure about whether property investment in the UK’s student vs residential market is right for you, our property consultants are happy to offer a friendly and informative chat.