The Best Areas to Invest in Student Property 2022 (Top 10)

Best Areas to Invest in Student Property Best Areas to Invest in Student Property

With student property investment in the UK increasingly becoming the preferred choice for investors, you may be wondering where you should invest and want to know the best areas for student property investment. 

Well, you’ve come to the right place, as this post outlines the top 10 best areas to invest in student property in 2022. 

Here, you will learn all about the best areas to invest in student property, with a look at each cities major selling points and underlying market data. 

We will also ask whether student property investment is a good idea in 2022 (spoiler alert: it is), and outline what we think are the best student property investments in the UK right now. 

Let’s get right into it!  

Note: This is one of seven guides released as part of the RWinvest student property investment series. Click the link to be taken to our hub page where you will find the rest of our free content.

Download the Complete Guide to Student Property Investment – for FREE!

Student Property Investment Guide

Enter Details to Download Now

Best Areas for UK Student Property Investment 2021/22 Best Areas for UK Student Property Investment 2021/22

What Are the Best Areas for UK Student Property Investment 2022? 

To help pinpoint exactly where the best areas to invest in student property are, we’ve used some metrics to evaluate a cities investment potential. 

Not only do we look at the underlying market data, including the number of students, average property prices, average rental yield, and potential for capital growth, but we also look at reasons students choose these cities, and why this is likely to continue. 

These reasons include nightlife opportunities, lifestyle and affordability, employment potential, and university quality. 

The data used is for the entire housing market of the city. While this won’t be the most accurate for specific student property investments, it does show the general health of a housing market and whether it is worthy of investment. 

If you have any questions about how we collect our data, be sure to check at the bottom of this guide for a brief explanation. 

Without further ado and in no order, the top 10 best areas to invest in student property in 2022 are: 

Liverpool
View More

1. Liverpool



Manchester
View More

2. Manchester



Leeds
View More

3. Leeds



Sheffield
View More

4. Sheffield



Nottingham
View More

5. Nottingham



Cardiff
View More

6. Cardiff



Birmingham
View More

7. Birmingham



Newcastle
View More

8. Newcastle



Edinburgh
View More

9. Edinburgh



Brighton
View More

10. Brighton



View Property

1. Liverpool 

  • Student Population: 70,000  
  • Avg. Property Price: £162,259  
  • Avg. Gross Rental Yield: 5.75%  
  • Predicted Regional House Price Growth: 28.0%  

Ranked as the 2nd best student city in the UK, Liverpool is perhaps the best place to invest in student property for 2022. 

With an iconic nightlife scene, five excellent universities, and some of the most affordable property prices in the UK, Liverpool property investment has been the preferred destination for investors for many years. 

With prices commonly available below £100k for premium student accommodation in Liverpool, and returns north of 8% NET, the city is boasting a fantastic investment prospect. 

Liverpool has seen some of the highest capital growth over the past year, with property prices almost 16% higher than in 2020. 

Average Liverpool Property Prices Since March 2020 Average Liverpool Property Prices Since March 2020

 

Factor in additional growth potential which is predicted to be 28.0% by 2025 according to Savills – the joint-highest in the UK – and you have a recipe for a perfect investment. 

Perhaps key about Liverpool’s appeal is its large international student population, where one in five students are Chinese.  

Statistically, Chinese students are the most likely student group to stay in purpose-built student accommodation (2.2 times more likely, according to Savills). 

This is key for investors, as PBSA currently offers the highest returns in the student market. You can learn more about this in our “how to invest in student property” guide. 

Overall, if you want a popular student city, with excellent universities, iconic nightlife, world-class employment opportunities, and a strong investment market, then Liverpool student property investment is an ideal choice. 

You can learn more about Liverpool student property investment in our dedicated ultimate guide for 2022. 

Why Make a Student Accommodation Investment in Liverpool? 

  • One of the most affordable locations with huge return potential upwards of 8% NET. 
  • Huge student population over 70,000, with a significant international population. 
  • Liverpool is known as one of the best UK cities for nightlife and culture. 
  • World-class employment opportunities attract thousands of students and convince them to stay in the city. 
  • Voted the second-best student city in the UK. 

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

Invest From £30,000

Shaw Street

Completed Student Accommodation

Liverpool Prices from £69,995

8% NET Rental Returns

Completed Student Accommodation

Completed & 100% Tenanted

The Bridewell

Historic Victorian Building

Liverpool Prices from £74,995

8% Assured NET Rental Return

100% Tenanted

View Property

 

2. Manchester 

  • Student Population: 100,000  
  • Avg. Property Price: £207,625 
  • Avg. Gross Rental Yield: 6.62%  
  • Predicted Regional House Price Growth: 28.0%  

Undoubtedly one of the best areas for UK student property investment 2022, Manchester boasts one of the UK’s most prevalent student scenes.   

With affordable house prices, and some of the highest growth rates in all of the UK, Manchester property is an incredibly lucrative asset class. 

The city boasts some of the best universities in the world, with the Redbrick University of Manchester recently voted in the world’s top 30 – its highest-ever position.  

Aside from its choice of fantastic institutions, including Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Salford, Manchester boasts a lively nightlife scene along with some attractive graduate roles in the many high-profile businesses located in the city.  

 

The current average rental yield in Manchester stands at around 6.62%, the second-highest on this list – although student investments will net you higher returns. 

Manchester property investment, like Liverpool, also boasts a huge international student population.  

Around 20,000 students in Manchester are from overseas, with a huge amount coming from China, making PBSA especially lucrative in the city. 

Capital growth prospects are also very high for the Manchester housing market, with expected growth in average house prices of 28.0% by 2025 for the North West.   

Thanks to these prevailing market statistics, Manchester belongs on any list of the best areas for student property investment. 

Its residential market is also thriving, with the likes of Embankment Exchange offering huge 6% returns from only £179,950.

To learn more about Manchester student property, be sure to check out our dedicated guide, updated for 2022.

If you’re thinking of making a student accommodation purchase in this top Northern hotspot, then be sure to focus on investments in the Salford area and city centre locations for the best possible returns.  

Why Make a Student Accommodation Investment in Manchester?  

  • Manchester boasts one of the largest student populations in Europe, with over 100,000 students. 
  • The city has some of the highest capital growth rates in the UK, with a 330% increase since 2001. 
  • The University of Manchester is one of the UK’s top universities.  
  • Manchester was voted the best UK city to live in, according to the Global Liveability Survey. 
  • Manchester has the second-highest graduation retention rate in the UK, with over 51% of graduates staying in the city. 

Invest in Student Property in the Best UK Areas From Only £69,995 Today! 

View Properties

3. Leeds 

  • Student Population: 60,000  
  • Avg. Property Price:  £214,925 
  • Avg. Gross Rental Yield: 5.81%  
  • Predicted Regional House Price Growth: 28.0%  

Another contender on our list of the best areas for UK property investment is Leeds. 

With a student population of over 60k, and five excellent universities, Leeds is another top student city that is quickly attracting more interest from those looking to buy into the UK student accommodation market.   

Leeds is one of the premier central cogs in the Yorkshire region, and is by far the region’s biggest employer and cultural epicentre. 

Likely the biggest attraction to the city for students is the University of Leeds, which is currently ranked in the world’s top 100 universities. 

Likewise, Leeds also offers an incredible living experience for students. 

From excellent nightlife opportunities to the iconic Leeds festival, there’s plenty for party-hungry students to get up to. 

The city is also incredibly affordable for students, with the average weekly rent estimated between £61 to £125. 

Significantly for investors, this affordability spreads to its student accommodation, which can deliver significant returns. 

While the average city yield is 5.81%, it gets even better in certain parts of the city, such as Headingley with returns up to 7.4%.    

Hyde Park, Headingley, and Woodhouse, are the three best places to invest in student accommodation in the city.  

With the higher yields available in these areas, student accommodation investment in Leeds offers some of the best rental yields of any Leeds buy to let strategy.  

Why Make a Student Accommodation Investment in Leeds?  

  • High potential rental returns. 
  • Yorkshire & the Humber region has the joint-highest predicted growth by Savills of 28.0%. 
  • Student numbers in Leeds are higher than in many other UK areas, ensuring high demand from student accommodation investment opportunities.  
  • The University of Leeds ranked in the world’s top 100 universities. 

4. Sheffield 

  • Student Population: 60,000  
  • Avg. Property Price: £185,750  
  • Avg. Gross Rental Yield: 5.65%  
  • Predicted Regional House Price Growth: 28.0%   

The second Yorkshire-based university city on our list, Sheffield is another popular destination to invest in student accommodation.   

With growing universities like the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam to choose from, Sheffield’s 60,000 students have been spoiled for choice. 

Like Leeds, the city offers incredible affordability, alongside a thriving student and cultural scene. 

There’s also a large Chinese population in the city, with around 6,000 students making PBSA incredibly popular.  

Sheffield property investment offers a similar level of potential to Leeds for those who wish to invest in student accommodation.   

The average yield in Sheffield is just slightly lower than that of Leeds, at 5.65%.  

However, many postcodes in Sheffield come with much more significant yields.   

The S1 postcode, which spans the city centre, is a good example of this and offers rental yields of 7.83%.    

With S1 being one of Sheffield’s best student accommodation areas, those who wish to buy student accommodation in Sheffield should definitely explore city-centre locations for the best rental returns.  

Thanks to these high returns, Sheffield is one of the best places to invest in student property in the coming years. 

Why Make a Student Accommodation Investment in Sheffield?  

  • Sheffield boasts over 60,000 students. 
  • Average property prices in Sheffield are very low, with average rental yields showing a lot of potential. 
  • Regional property price growth sets Sheffield apart from selected other UK regions, with the potential to see a 28% rise by 2025. 

Find Out About the Best Student Investment Opportunities Before Anyone Else

Start a Chat With One of Our Agents Today

CHAT TO AN AGENT
Student Property Investment Nottingham Student Property Investment Nottingham

 

5. Nottingham

  • Student Population: 65,000  
  • Avg. Property Price: £172,498 
  • Avg. Gross Rental Yield: 6.09%  
  • Predicted Regional House Price Growth: 23.9%   

Ranked as the UK’s ninth-best student city, and boasting the world’s 53rd best university, Nottingham is undoubtedly one of the best areas for UK student property investment in 2022.  

Located in the West Midlands, Nottingham property investment rivals any city on this list for investment potential. 

With average city property prices of just over £172k, Nottingham boasts significant average gross rental yields of over 6%. 

For students, there are plenty of nightlife and culture opportunities, including the likes of Nottingham Castle and Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem – one of the oldest pubs in England. 

Crucially, Nottingham has an excellent reputation amongst students thanks to safety, with the city voted as one of the best and safest places for a night out in the UK. 

Considering all these factors, it’s unsurprising that Nottingham belongs on anyone’s list of the best places to invest in student property. 

Why Make a Student Accommodation Investment in Nottingham?  

  • A reputation as a vibrant student city with a high student population. 
  • High potential rental yields from the right student accommodation investment opportunities, although not as high as those found in other cities. 
Student Property Investment Cardiff Student Property Investment Cardiff

6. Cardiff 

  • Student Population: 65,000  
  • Avg. Property Price:  £240,320  
  • Avg. Gross Rental Yield: 5.26%  
  • Predicted Regional House Price Growth: 26.8%  

The first non-English city on this list, the Welsh capital of Cardiff is another UK city well-known for its thriving student market. 

With around 20% of the population being students, and four top universities, purpose-built student accommodation is a hot commodity in the city. 

In particular, Cardiff University is a huge draw, ranked as the 34th best in the UK by The Times. 

Ranked as the UK’s friendliest city, Cardiff offers a lot for students, with fantastic nightlife opportunities and wonderful places to explore, like Saint Fagans – voted Museum of the Year in 2019. 

Cardiff itself is a city that’s seeing a high level of regeneration.  

With trendy new bars and restaurants popping up across the city, and huge past projects such as Cardiff Bay, it’s easy to see why many property developers are introducing new property developments in the city.   

While the average rental yield in Cardiff is a little lower than some of the other cities in this list of where to buy student accommodation in the UK, the high student population and strong capital growth prospects make this city stand out as a great place to invest in student accommodation.   

However, property prices in Cardiff are higher than other UK cities on this list, which may be a struggle for investors. 

For this reason, while Cardiff property investment is one of the best places to invest in student property, it may be too expensive for some. 

Why Make a Student Accommodation Investment in Cardiff?  

  • Cardiff was voted the best university city in Wales. 
  • Cardiff is a thriving regeneration city with a lot of investment interest. 
  • Wales has the second-highest predicated capital growth rate by Savills. 

Find Luxury Purpose-Built Student Accommodation for Only £74,950 Today 

View Now
Student Property Investment Birmingham Student Property Investment Birmingham

 

7. Birmingham 

  • Student Population: 100,000 
  • Avg. Property Price: £205,974  
  • Avg. Gross Rental Yield: 6.07%  
  • Predicted Regional House Price Growth: 23.9%  

Located right in the centre of the country, Birmingham is a top student city, boasting the joint-highest student population on this list. 

Offering great nightlife, a lively cultural scene, and several annual festivals for students to enjoy, Birmingham continues to attract thousands of investors every year. 

Around 40% of the city’s population is under 25, which is one of the youngest UK populations, meaning students will feel right at home. 

Plus with the University of Birmingham ranked as the 21st best in the country by The Guardian, the city offers excellent educational prospects for students. 

Employment wise, Birmingham is excellent for graduates. 

With major employers like PwC and HSBC, plus huge regeneration projects like HS2 and the Big City Plan set to create a combined 80,000 jobs, the future looks incredibly bright for the city. 

Property prices in Birmingham are very affordable and offer significant rental yields, creating a recipe for success in the UK’s second city. 

Investors who invest in purpose-built student accommodation in Birmingham can expect relatively high rental returns.  

If you’re set on a Midlands-based student investment and want to ensure a high level of rental demand, investing in student accommodation in Birmingham could be a good option.  

To learn more about property investment in Birmingham, be sure to read our full 2022 guide. 

Why Make a Student Accommodation Investment in Birmingham?   

  • Birmingham has a large student population thanks to excellent universities and a solid culture and nightlife scene.  
  • Voted the third best city in the UK for attracting graduates with no prior links to the city. 
  • Home to the largest business, professional, and financial hub outside of London. 
  • Rental returns and capital growth in Birmingham is relatively high compared to cities in the South of England. 
Student Property Investment Newcastle Student Property Investment Newcastle

 

8. Newcastle 

  • Student Population: 42,000 
  • Avg. Property Price: £175,973  
  • Avg. Gross Rental Yield: 6.85% 
  • Predicted Regional House Price Growth: 23.9%  

Home of the Geordies, Newcastle is the largest city in North-East England and deserves a feature in any guide to the best place to invest in student accommodation.   

Average student population statistics are slightly below other locations on this list, but don’t let that fool you, Newcastle offers a compelling case for property investment. 

With some of the lowest property prices in the UK, and huge average yields of 6.85%, the city is worth exploring for its student accommodation investment potential.   

Newcastle is always one of the most popular places to go for students, thanks to its famous nightlife scene. 

Nightlife in Newcastle is renowned as some of the best in the UK, with spots for every music taste dotted around Diamond Strip and Greys Street. 

In fact, in a 2019 guide to the best UK universities for nightlife, Newcastle came in third after Liverpool John Moores University and the University of Liverpool.   

With four universities to choose from, there is always a high level of demand for purpose-built student accommodation.   

Newcastle’s predicted regional property price growth is also sizeable, with the joint-third highest growth in England alongside the West and East Midlands.  

Considering all these factors, Newcastle is certainly one of the best locations for UK student property investment in 2022. 

Why Make a Student Accommodation Investment in Newcastle? 

  • Low property prices make Newcastle a great choice for investors seeking an affordable spot to invest in student accommodation. 
  • Rental yields in Newcastle have a high average, suggesting attractive rental returns. 
  • One of the best and most affordable nightlife scenes in the UK. 
Student Property Investment Edinburgh Student Property Investment Edinburgh

9. Edinburgh 

  • Student Population: 35,000 
  • Avg. Property Price:  £309,227  
  • Avg. Rental Yield: 5.40%  
  • Predicted Regional House Price Growth: 24.4%  

The Scottish capital of Edinburgh is a hotspot for student investment in the UK. 

The University of Edinburgh is one of the most prestigious universities in the UK and even ranked 4th in the UK and 22nd for the best worldwide universities in 2021.  

Student numbers in Edinburgh appear to be lower than other places on this list, but this doesn’t change the fact that Edinburgh remains a thriving student city.  

Many students are drawn to Edinburgh for the higher education opportunities available and the world-famous cultural scene.   

There are currently six universities in the city, with a staggering amount of things to do, including music venues, art galleries, museums, shopping centres, and excellent green spaces. 

Investment prospects in the city are also excellent, but prices may be a stumbling block for investors, with current averages of just under £310k, according to the Land Registry.  

While prices are high, they are set to get even higher, too, with predictions of a 24.4% rise by 2025.  

Overall, Edinburgh property investment is a top choice for those who can afford it, with the city easily ranking among the best spots for student property investment in the UK. 

Why Make a Student Accommodation Investment in Edinburgh?   

  • Edinburgh welcomes university students from around the globe due to its prestigious reputation, suggesting high demand for those investing in student accommodation in the area. 
  • Predicted house price growth in Scotland is some of the highest in the UK.  
  • The University of Edinburgh is in the top 5 best UK universities. 

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

Invest From £30,000

Shaw Street

Completed Student Accommodation

Liverpool Prices from £69,995

8% NET Rental Returns

Completed Student Accommodation

Completed & 100% Tenanted

The Bridewell

Historic Victorian Building

Liverpool Prices from £74,995

8% Assured NET Rental Return

100% Tenanted

Student Property Investment Brighton Student Property Investment Brighton

10. Brighton 

  • Student Population: 21,009  
  • Avg. Property Price: £404,763  
  • Avg. Rental Yield: 4.62%  
  • Predicted Regional House Price Growth: 19.1%  

If you’re keen on investing in property in the South of England, Brighton is a student city that should be on your radar.    

Brighton has a reputation as a great university city, especially for those studying for more creative degrees.  

This seaside town is also known for its sizeable LGBTQ community and forward-thinking attitude.   

International students make up 27% of the student population in Brighton, which is a key indicator of the quality of education and lifestyle in the area. 

With two universities in the city, the student population is the lowest on this list, but PBSA is incredibly lucrative in the area. 

The main issue with Brighton for many investors is the cost. Average property prices are comfortably the highest on this list, with returns the lowest 4.62%. 

Despite these market statistics, student property investment in Brighton is still a solid choice and frequently ranks amongst the best places to invest in UK student property. 

Why Make a Student Accommodation Investment in Brighton?  

  • Brighton is a good choice for investors who want to invest in student property in the South. 
  • Brighton boasts a high population of overseas students. 
  • While capital growth is expected to be low over the coming years, it is still higher than the growth predicted for London. 
Best Up and Coming Cities to Invest in Student Property Best Up and Coming Cities to Invest in Student Property

The Best Up and Coming Cities for Student Property Investment UK 

The UK is blessed with some of the best universities across the globe. 

As the preferred choice for many overseas students, there is a tonne of top university cities worth your investment. 

With this in mind, we thought we would name some of the best up and coming cities that didn’t make this list, but could do so in the near future. 

These cities are here as they offer some of the highest returns for student property at the lowest prices. 

They are: 

  1. Bristol property investment
  2. Preston 
  3. Chester 
  4. Swansea 
  5. Hull 
  6. Lincoln 
  7. Stoke 
  8. Coventry 
  9. Plymouth  

These cities have huge investment potential, with research online suggesting you can earn potential returns up to 9.56% from student accommodation as cheap as £9k. 

Ready to Invest in the Ultimate Asset Class in 2022? 

Get Exclusive Deals and 8% Returns When You Buy Student Property With RWinvest 

Start Your Investment Journey
Is Student Accommodation a Good Investment Is Student Accommodation a Good Investment

Is Student Accommodation a Good Investment? 

Now that we’ve concluded our list, it’s a good time to ask is student accommodation a good investment in the UK? Why invest in student accommodation over residential buy to let?   

As demand continues to rise and the strength of the student property market continues increasing, student accommodation is an investment not to be missed.   

Many property investors class student accommodation as the best property type due to the higher affordability, stronger yields, and constant demand from the UK student buy to let market.  

In recent years, fewer students live on standard campus on-site university accommodation and instead choose to rent high-quality apartments in and around the city centre.   

This change in student attitude has led to heightened demand for new build developments, with many landlords taking notice.  

During the 2020 academic year, university applications from 18-year-olds rose by 40.5%, with the number of applications from non-EU students also increasing by 10%.  

To learn more, check out our guide asking “is investing in student accommodation a good idea?

Liverpool Student Property Investment Liverpool Student Property Investment
View Properties

Which City Is the Best for Student Accommodation Investment? 

While our list of the top 10 cities for investing in student accommodation was filled with some fantastic options, there are two clear top contenders.   

When factoring in rental yields, capital appreciation, and student demand, Liverpool and Manchester are the best places to invest in student accommodation in the UK.  

With a student population of around 160,000 combined and some of the top rental yields in the country, these two North West cities have rightfully earned the top spot as the best places to invest in student accommodation.   

Throughout 2021 and now 2022, the North West has remained a solid investment city, with rising property prices and growing rental demand despite covid-19 and Brexit. 

Since student property is often a popular asset class for first-time buy to let investors, the low property prices of these two cities also make investing a lot more accessible for those with smaller budgets.  

Best Postcodes in Liverpool for Student Property Investment Best Postcodes in Liverpool for Student Property Investment

What Are the Best Student Areas in Liverpool and Manchester for Student Accommodation Investment?

The figures suggest that Liverpool and Manchester are the best student cities UK investors should focus on. 

But where should you invest in the cities? 

Like residential buy to let investment types, Liverpool student lets and Manchester student investments tend to be found in highly populated parts of the city.   

In most cases, this means investing in the city centre, particularly since students favour being near their university campus along with local attractions and nightlife.  

For Liverpool student lets, the best postcodes tend to be L1, L6, and L2.  

Not only are these postcodes considered some of the best Liverpool student accommodation investment hotspots for tenant demand, but they also generate high yields and capital growth returns for investors.   

Manchester, which is considered the best student city in the UK by many investors, also boasts some strong postcode areas for those who want to maximise returns.   

M3, for instance, in the city centre, is known to generate high rental yields while also being one of the best student accommodation areas in the city.   

For students attending the University of Salford, postcodes like M5 and M6 occupy the area and make a good option for those looking to find a student accommodation investment for sale.  

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

Invest From £30,000

Shaw Street

Completed Student Accommodation

Liverpool Prices from £69,995

8% NET Rental Returns

Completed Student Accommodation

Completed & 100% Tenanted

The Bridewell

Historic Victorian Building

Liverpool Prices from £74,995

8% Assured NET Rental Return

100% Tenanted

Get the Best Student Property Investments UK With RWinvest 

If you’re looking for the best student property investments UK-wide, RWinvest is here to help. 

We are an award-winning property investment company with over 17 years of experience in student property. 

Named the North West’s best property business in 2020, and nominated as Business of the Year in 2021, no other company is as well-respected and as trusted as us. 

We’re currently offering some of the best student accommodation for sale in the UK from only £74,950. 

You can invest in the revolutionary ELEMENT – The Quarter in Liverpool and get 8% NET rental returns. 

To see the latest student property for sale from RWinvest, be sure to click the link to find our current opportunities.  

Find flats for sale in Liverpool, Manchester, and beyond with RWinvest. 

We currently have several great student buy to let properties in Liverpool to choose from, offering yields of up to 8%.   

If you want know how best to invest in any of the cities mentioned on this list, be sure to check out our ultimate guide on how to invest in student property.

Disclaimer:   This guide to the best place to invest in student accommodation was last updated in January 2022.

The statistics on property prices were taken from official Land Registry data, while the latest rental figures were taken from Zoopla. Property price predictions were taken from Savills, and the student population statistics were found via various UK university websites.