It seems that finding student accommodation in London is set to get even harder!
More than 250,000 students in London are not able to secure housing in either purpose built university accommodation or in private halls of residence. These students then have to share rented private-sector home or live at home with parents, thereby negating part of the university experience.
Next year, a three percent rise in British university students and a four percent rise in international students is forecast for London alone. This will mean about 10,000 new students will need accommodation in London next year.
This increase in demand for college housing will necessarily mean that the cost of student accommodation in London will rise. And with rising costs, students run the risk of getting themselves in more debt than ever before, and also sharing with more people and thus getting less space to live in than their predecessors.
On the supply side, student housing has become a recognized real estate investment class in its own right over the past decade with numerous private developers springing up to provide on the whole better than average accommodation. However, despite the number of professional student residences increasing, the pipeline of this housing under development is just under 6,000 beds – this is nowhere near enough to accommodate the rising number of domestic and international students in London.
Those that are able to pay for this new purpose- built, privately owned student housing are lucky indeed. Students live in a world of luxury incomparable to the traditional student homes made infamous in the 1980s in programs like The Young Ones. New style student housing often includes bar & cafes, games rooms, gyms, free wifi and maintained gardens.
Naturally, these comforts don’t come cheap and such student accommodation costs much more than shared housing. It seems there is a ready market though, frequently from international students who are new to the UK and would rather pay more for security and the reassurance of an all-inclusive cost with property maintenance as needed.
In London, the imbalance between supply and demand for quality student housing is set to become worse with many more international students expected in the next five years.
Recent UK trade visits to India and China have promoted the university education system here. And to enable more students to reach our shores, the Mayor of London along with several universities are campaigning for a simplification of our visa system to make it friendlier to overseas students. The current visa system is viewed as needlessly officious by many.
The Government tightened up the visa rules a few years ago because of a number of disreputable colleges bringing students into the UK and then nonchalantly turning a blind eye as students disappeared, overstaying their visas and becoming illegal immigrants. While this has no doubt happened, the kneejerk reaction of tightening visa requirements has gone too far and risks putting off the wealthier international student that is so highly sought after by both universities and landlords. Let’s hope that the message that the UK welcomes international students is heard loud & clear.
LuxuryDigs understands the requirement of students seeking luxury accommodation in London and we can help you find somewhere suitable, whether you are from the UK or overseas. Please visit www.luxurydigs.co.uk for more details.