In the latest quarterly Student Housing ViewPoint, Jo Winchester looks at the prospects for the student accommodation market in London.
While London continues to attract strong numbers of UK and overseas students to its world class academic institutions, it continues to suffer from a significant deficit of purpose built modern accommodation with an estimated 90,500 students still living in the private sector.
The fact that there has been no publically funded development of student housing in the UK since the early 1990s has created a significant opportunity for the private sector to develop halls of residence addressing the unsatisfied demand.
However, while London’s planners recognise the need for good quality accommodation for its students and the contribution they make to London’s economy, affordable housing and other projects will take precedence in many boroughs, which do not have a consistent approach to student housing development. Planning permissions in central boroughs will be particularly hard to achieve, with student accommodation being principally built in outlying boroughs close to travel links in the future.
The ViewPoint makes the point that in the future, the chances of planning and funding being secured will be enhanced by developers, operators, universities and equity/debt providers working together to create a compelling case.