Buy to let student property investment has easily been one of the highest performing asset classes in the past five years and no wonder. The number of tenants has doubled in the past decade and a half; reaching 8.5 million in 2014, and it’s only rising. Furthermore, the student sector tends to have higher returns than the rest of the buy to let market—up to 3-4 percent higher.
All of this combined makes student accommodation a very attractive option for buy to let investors. Add in well-off guardians and parents as tenants’ guarantors, the predictable market based on the school year; and you’ll understand why so many investors are taking a closer look at student accommodation opportunities.
As with any investment opportunity, however, it’s a good idea to learn about what the market requires. Letting to students is not the same as letting to families or even young professionals.
Trite as it might be, location is easily one of the most vital considerations when purchasing a buy to let property. That’s because the best properties are, of course, located near universities—that’s more or less the point of student property investment. But just choosing a property “near a university” isn’t nearly enough.
Investors will want to investigate to see what accommodations are already offered in the area. Does the university have purpose-built student accommodations, for example? Is there planning to build any? Or, do any universities in the area have a housing scheme that students can take part in? Also, even in a relatively small area surrounding a university there may be particular hot spots that are attractive to students, or to certain demographics of students.
Student tenants’ needs differ from those of other tenants in a number of ways, and to successfully buy to let with the intention of housing them, landlords should be adequately prepared.
Students usually require furnished accommodation—this is a temporary (and often part time) residence for them. If the flat or house has multiple bedrooms, each room will need its own keyed lock. You may find that students are more apt to rent if their utilities are included, as well.
Letting to students can absolutely be an efficient way to up your income, when it’s gone about in a knowledgeable manner.Back to news