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Experts Issue Call for More Purpose-Built Student Accommodation

Experts Issue Call for More Purpose-Built Student Accommodation

The urgent alarm for more purpose-built student accommodation has been sounded yet again, as reports declare that the conversion of family housing to student lets is out-pricing local families.

The ever-increasing amount of HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation) are inflicting a damaging restriction on the housing supply, making the call for more purpose-built student accommodation as a solution to free-up social housing, one of critical importance.

A report by International real estate adviser Savills, estimates that 66,000 properties or Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO) now occupied by students, could be freed up for family housing through the delivery of more purpose-built student accommodation.

The report issues a rallying call for councils to recognise the need to free up family housing by moving students into purpose built accommodation, which offer a well-managed, communal and controlled environment.

Savills estimates that freeing up 66,000 homes would create demand for up to 260,000 student beds, opening up opportunities for developers and investors in the lucrative student accommodation market, as well as ensuring that families are housed.

Councils would also be set to profit from the idea, as more family homes would boost council tax returns by around £1.5 million per town or city, since student-only houses are council tax exempt. Councils would also be set to receive six years’ worth of payments through the New Homes Bonus on the newly constructed student housing.

Savills says that two thirds of this unlockable family housing stock is in the top 25 towns and cities across England and Wales, including cities such as Manchester and Leeds where student demand and housing shortages are concentrated.

Manchester was labelled by The Financial Times in 2012 as an ‘opportunity market,’ recognising the need for purpose built student accommodation in Manchester, as demand continues to outreach supply in the city.

North West property firm, Knight Knox International have recently launched Chapel Street, a student development in Manchester, which will house over 90 students guaranteeing that landlords receive lucrative returns and ensuring that students do not continue to occupy traditional family houses.

The company has also recently launched new student development, All Saints in Sunderland, along with a host of others. The company has launched 11 student developments in the last year, as we continue to offer a solution to this increasingly urgent housing shortage.

To read the full report by Savills click here, or to speak to our experts about the need for purpose built student accommodation call +44 (0)161 772 1370