Student Accommodation Conference

29 January 2020 - Adelphi House, University of Salford

“Many universities are investing heavily in their academic estates, however, the same attention has not been given to students’ living spaces and with the increasing evidence of mental health issues on the increase, universities ignore this aspect of student experience at their peril.”  – Julian Robinson, Director of Estates, London School of Economics

The rise in higher education tuition fees, has increased the expectation of quality, innovation and standards of living from student accommodation providers. The PBSA sector has drastically changed in recent  years,  students are more cost conscious and seek value for money as paying customers. Quality of PBSA is crucial in this culture of higher expectation, as students are becoming more aware of the environmental aspects of accommodation that enhances the overall experience.

The crucial role  of an accommodation provider in supporting student wellbeing has become more recognised, statistics in Knight Frank and UCAS 2018 Student Accommodation Survey, revealed 99% of students said the standard of their accommodation had an influence on their wellbeing, with 79% saying it was an “important”  or “very important” factor. Accommodation providers have a responsibility of creating  an environment that promotes positive wellbeing.

Join us for the annual Student Accommodation Conference where leaders in the sector will discuss innovative ways of improving  the student experience, creating infrastructure with students in mind, whilst building  a community and framework which supports mental health needs.

  • 29 January 2020
  • 09:00 - 16:00
  • Adelphi House, University of Salford - Directions
  • From £99 +VAT

Why is the student accommodation market an emerging area of investment? – Student accommodation is an emerging market for investors. This sector of the property market is sparking interest with investors who see it as a growth area where other parts of the market are slow moving or stagnant. There are a number of reasons why, in a time of uncertainty, student accommodation is continuing to grow as an area of investment.

Demand is exceeding supply – There’s an increasing population of students across the UK, with demand for housing exceeding the current supply. This underpins the initial interest in the market, since there’s a great need for new builds and refurbishments to meet the student demand. In fact, the student accommodation sector is one of the fastest-growing property markets, with total investment increasing by 780% since 2009. This makes it the highest-performing property market sector since 2011.

High return on investment – The student market is one that is extremely appealing to investors in many ways. One reason for this is that the demand is so high, meaning that it offers them high occupancy rates and fewer loss of earnings where rooms may otherwise remain empty for periods of time. Multiple-occupancy means multiple split rents, so rates can be higher and depending on the individual rooms, generate a greater return than single occupancy of one building.

Greater guarantee of income – Students are one group within the population that are not necessarily spending less on accommodation in times of uncertainty. Many students will be living away from home and it is a necessity for them to find accommodation that suits their needs and is within a good distance of their chosen university. As the numbers of students attending universities rise on an annual basis, the student accommodation market is able to offer investors a uniquely low cyclical volatility, and less volatile yields.

Annual commitments – Often, students will rent for a short period of time. Although this is different to the guarantee of long-term, happy tenants, it doesn’t come without a fresh supply of students with each annual intake. There is never a shortage of students looking for accommodation, so student accommodation offers investors a low risk profile. It also gives investors the chance to do annual appraisals, make rent changes accordingly and adjust to what the market is doing, so it gives greater flexibility than traditional rentals.

Student requirements – The UK is seeing a growing influx of international students, as well as a general increase in student numbers. These students’ demands and expectations are now higher than ever, with many looking for accommodation that’s inclusive of bills, Wi-Fi, and with high quality living standards. At the same time, nearly 60% of student accommodation is deemed as being low quality, whilst the private rental sector absorbs the increase of students and fills the gaps. This makes student accommodation an emerging area of investment where high quality accommodation can be built to provide adequate purpose-built student accommodation.

Learning Outcomes
  • Understand the growth in the market and what it means for your organisation
  • Further develop an insight in to what matters in design, delivery, cost and facilities
  • Discuss what universities want, what students want and what the local community wants
  • Be familiar with the new technology and innovative approaches that are leading the way in the construction process and keeping costs down
  • Develop the tools to establish partnerships and deliver sustainable growth
  • How to bring down the cost of providing student accommodation without compromising the student experience
  • Understand the key role that people working across the public and private sector have to play in responding to student demands for safe and affordable housing
  • How better management of assets can gain efficiencies and drive better student experience
  • How making the student experience safer can boost student satisfaction and your university’s reputation
  • Explore how welfare and mental health can be incorporated into all future planning
Who Should Attend
  • Directors of Estates
  • Heads of Facilities
  • Heads of Accommodation Services
  • Directors of Student Services
  • Finance Directors
  • Development Directors

We do not accept delegate registrations from suppliers.

This year's Sponsors

    Hugh Blackwood
    Sheraz Mahmood