Student Accommodation is the Ideal Investment in the Current Economy

With the UK set for political and economic uncertainty over the next few years, some commentators have predicted a period of stagnation for the property sector.

Although this remains to be seen and the market has held up well so far, one area that won’t be affected is student accommodation. This is because student investment is countercyclical in nature and less likely to be affected by the overall economy.

Students will always need somewhere to live, and if you can find a property in a favourable location, demand will hold up year-on-year. At Aspen Woolf, we offer a number of student properties for this exact reason.

Outstanding Performance

Student accommodation is one area of the UK property market that won't be hit by political uncertainty

Throughout the current decade, student accommodation has outperformed traditional assets in the property sector. Although recent external pressures on buy-to-let may partially explain this, the main reason is due to the strong demand for purpose-built flats in prime student areas.

Traditionally, first year students have had to rely on university-sponsored halls when they enrol – these are usually older buildings with limited space and basic amenities. Now, it seems undergraduates prefer modernised, purpose-built flats when given the option.

A recent report by Knight Frank backed this up. It showed students are prepared to pay increased rents if the facilities impress them, and so with many new developments containing gyms, games rooms and individual car parking, finding tenants should be of little worry.

At a time of political uncertainy, UK student accommodation remains a safe investment.

Even though many are being constructed in areas close to campus buildings, transport links and shops, there’s still a significant structural undersupply. It is here that individual investors can take advantage.

Yields are consistently high, helped by low-entry prices onto the market, with impressive occupancy rates. This isn’t a recent trend either, it has remained a resilient investment sector for many years now with no indication of slowing down.

In addition, rents are usually guaranteed by a parent and paid upfront. For investors, this provides great peace of mind knowing you’re assured both demand and rental income at the start of each term.

Positive Forecasts

The UK student population is 2 million and they need somewhere to live.

Although the UK student population is roughly 2 million, there’s only enough private-sector accommodation to house a quarter of them. And despite increased university fees, applications don’t seem to be slowing down. It seems the student sector will remain a robust asset class for many years to come.

These positive forecasts are being recognised by wealthy foreign investors. Over 70% of new purchases are from private equity and high net-worth overseas buyers. Even if you can’t compete with this financial clout, as a private investor it pays to recognise their buying behaviour.

According to Knight Frank, the purpose-built student market is estimated to be worth around £46 billion, with a further £5 billion to be added in new developments this year. This shows that, despite the economic uncertainty around at the moment, one sector unaffected is student property.

At Aspen Woolf, we’ve recognised this trend and have sourced various student flats from hotspots across the UK. We’ll have management companies in place for the investment on your behalf, meaning all you need do is sit back and enjoy your assured rental yields of between 6-10%.


Take a look at our current student property investment offers today.

If you’re interested in investing in student accommodation, you may want to take a look at the Five Best Student Towns to Invest In.

Student Property Demand Rises in Liverpool

With around 70,000 students in Liverpool during term time, it’s no surprise that demand for accommodation is high. And with the number of undergraduate placements rising from the 2015/16 academic year, there’s still need for high-quality housing within the city.

For investors, this means numerous opportunities are available in the thriving buy-to-let sector, especially for purpose-built student accommodation.

Increasing Numbers

Student numbers at Liverpool University are increasing.

Image credit: Vita Student via Flickr


The University of Liverpool, John Moores University and Liverpool Hope University comprise around 60,000 students alone, an increase of around 10,000 from last year.

As well as the three main universities, there’s also the Institute for Performing Arts, School of Tropical Medicine and numerous other colleges within the city – pushing the total number of students up even further.

Research by the Mistoria Group shows that these figures have caused a 37% growth in demand for shared student accommodation within a three mile radius of the city centre.

Why Liverpool?

Liverpool albert dock

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Developers have been quick to recognise the rise in student numbers and short supply of bespoke housing in Liverpool. With demand for high-quality accommodation growing, a number of uber-modern student developments, such as the luxurious Fox Street Village and Queensland Place, have sprung up in recent years.

With a rich cultural and sporting heritage, combined with a diverse nightlife and affordable housing, Liverpool in itself will always attract high student numbers. With its higher education institutes offering a vast array of courses, there’s no sign of the trend slowing down.

As another bonus, an increasing number of students are remaining in Liverpool once they’ve graduated. This flow of young professionals boosts the rental sector even further, especially as renters with a career-driven mindset make for high-quality tenants.

Increased government investment in the ‘northern powerhouse’ is coinciding with massive regeneration schemes in Liverpool itself. As we move further into 2017, 250 major new schemes worth £10.5 billion are seeking planning approval or at early stages of project development.

Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA)

Students studying for exam

Image credit: NEC Corporation of America via Flickr

The 560,000 rooms that make up the UK’s PBSA market are estimated to be worth £46 billion in total. This is being helped as both students and universities move away from traditional halls of residence style accommodation.

Purpose-built halls cater to the demands of modern-day students, with private bathrooms, large common rooms, strong Wi-Fi connections and even gyms in some cases. They’re especially appealing to wealthier foreign students whose parents like the idea of a secured building in close proximity to the campus.

Purpose-built halls will often be managed by a letting agency. This is a recommended route into the student sector for investors. Everything is controlled on your behalf, from dealing with student enquiries to collecting payments. Rental yields of around 7-10% are assured with a guaranteed stream of tenants every year.


To find out more about investing in Liverpool’s student property market, get in touch for a chat.
If you’d like to know more about investing in student accommodation, you might be interested in The Boom in Purpose Built Student Accommodation.

Knight Frank Predict Rise in Student Investment

Anyone who has picked up a newspaper, logged in to an online media website or turned on the television of late, would be forgiven for thinking that the property market is in utter turmoil and ready to implode at any minute. Brexit fears, mayoral elections and general uncertainty has led to journalists up and down the country doing what they do best – scaremongering.

However, when you consult the actual experts and speak to those who are really involved in property investment, the response that you receive can often be quite different. Take the new report from Knight Frank as a prime example. The results found in their examination of the commercial property industry show that the forecast for the future of British property investing is anything but downbeat. In fact, for asset classes such as student property, the future looks decidedly rosy.

Is the student property market in trouble?

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Specialist property sectors set to increase

While it may be true that some areas of the property market are not currently performing as well as they have done in the past, being a canny investor is all about looking forward, not back. Transferring from one investment vehicle to another and pivoting when needs must is key to maintaining a buoyant portfolio, and the specialist property sector looks set to continue to offer investors a viable alternative to other, less secure opportunities.

The report states that the specialist sectors investigated – healthcare, student property, automotive and hotels – will see a 10 per cent increase in total investment this year when compared to 2015. This will take the specialist sector market to an incredible £14.3 billion by the end of the year.

Overseas investment will continue to be noteworthy, with money expected to come from Asia Pacific investors and North American funds amongst others. This proves the point that the momentum in this market is growing and that professional investors are viewing the UK’s specialist property market as a good option to bring stability to their overall investment portfolios.

Specialist property investments could help to stabilise the market

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Student property attracting significant attention

One area of the specialist property market that is gathering pace is the student property market. For quite some time now, student property has outperformed other parts of the British property market, and we are currently seeing more and more investors cottoning on to what is viewed as one of the most secure and balanced investments available.

Both international and institutional investment looks set to rise over the coming months and the amount of student property real estate investment trusts will also increase. Knight Frank also predict that there will be a consolidation of assets and a rental uplift that will hit 3.5 per cent during 2016.

Investment in student property looks set to rise

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Student property also exceeded both its five and 10 year averages in 2015, and the trend looks as though it will carry on as we move ever closer to the second half of 2016. So, for those looking to bring a more defensive asset into their investment portfolio, student property could well be the answer they have been searching for.

Has this inspired you? Then you may also be interested in Everything You Need to Know About Student Investment in the UK.
For more good news, check out Property Investors to Benefit from Tax Relief.

A Guide to Investing in Student Property in Lancashire

With so many investment options available these days, finding the right one for you can often prove to be somewhat of a minefield. Student property is one investment vehicle that has gained widespread popularity over the last decade, mainly thanks to the sector’s performance through the recession years post 2007.

Lancashire, too, has been experiencing heightened interest of late. Many landlords and investors have been looking to the North of England for a while now, seeing areas such as Preston, Burnley, Blackburn, Blackpool and beyond as viable alternatives to the now hard-to-enter market of London and the South East.

Putting both student accommodation and the county together, then, seems to make a lot of sense. Therefore, we decided to produce a guide that will help you get an overall feel for the county and what it has to offer. Here we will discuss the local economy, how well the county is served by transportation links, regeneration projects, current and future investments happening, and, of course, the county’s universities.

So, without further ado, let’s jump straight into our latest guide.

A guide to investing in student property in Lancashire

Image credit: Matthew Hartley via Flickr

The economy of Lancashire

As with so many other Northern English counties, Lancashire’s economy was once based largely upon industry. Coal mining and textile production were the most common, while Preston Docks (now commercially disused) served the county as its industrial port. Shipbuilding, too, was prominent in Barrow-in-Furness in years gone by.

Although the decline of the above industries is as obvious in Lancashire as it is in the rest of the UK, the county is still well served by industry with several multinationals now calling the Red Rose county home. Defence is possibly the largest industry in Lancashire as companies such as BAE Systems Military Air Solutions, BAE Systems Global Combat Systems, Ultra Electronics and Rolls Royce are all based here.

Nuclear power, too, has a home here, with a large plant operated by Westinghouse in Springfields, Selwick, and Heysham Nuclear Power Station which is run by British Energy. Manufacturing is well represented as well by the likes of Leyland Trucks, Crown Paints and BAXI.

The service industry, too, is growing in Lancashire, as it is in many formerly industrial counties of the north. Enterprise plc, National Savings and Investments, Airline Network and Xchanging are all based here, bringing jobs and continued economic growth to the region.


Much of the local economy mentioned above relies heavily on the county’s fantastic transport links, especially the M6 motorway system that runs through Lancashire from north to south, taking in both Preston and Lancaster along its path. Other notable motorways include the M65 which runs from Colne and connects Preston to Accrington, Blackburn and Burnley; the M61 runs from Preston via Chorley; the M66, which is just inside the boundary line and links the county with the major north-western hub that is Manchester; and the M58 that services the southernmost part of Lancashire as it runs from the M6 close to Wigan through to Liverpool via Skelmersdale. There is also a plethora of A-roads connecting the county both east and west and north and south.

The M6 runs through Lancashire, north to south.

Image credit: Amanda Slater via Flickr

Lancashire is also well served by the rail network with the West Coast Main Line providing direct links to many major cities, including London. Locals can pick up the line from either Lancaster or Preston. East to west connections are also decent, thanks to the East Lancashire Line that runs between Colne and Blackpool, as well as other routes such as the Ribble Valley Line. Bus services are also extensive throughout the county as well.

Although the county does have an international airport (Blackpool), there are currently no scheduled services operating from there. However, Lancashire is still well served by two of the north’s biggest airports, Manchester and Liverpool John Lennon Airport. Both Heysham and Fleetwood have ferry services across the water to the Isle of Man, too.

Lancashire regeneration projects

There are a number of regeneration projects running currently throughout Lancashire and a fair few in the pipeline waiting on approval too. West Lancashire Borough Council, along with its partners, the Homes and Community Agency and Lancashire County Council, recently conducted a study of the West Lancashire Economy, giving all concerned parties a fantastic foundation upon which to improve the local economy.

Last year, 2015, saw the beginning of the strategy that came from the report – the West Lancashire Economic Development Strategy for 2015-2025. The aim of the strategy is to push for continued growth in the region through sustainable regeneration whilst adhering to a key set of principles, values and priorities. Eight key themes make up the basis of the strategy, with housing and revitalised town centres a priority.

Similarly, the east of the county is also striving for greater investment and the regeneration of needy areas. Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership has recently stated that major investment into the local rail and road network could result in as many as 15,000 jobs being created, and generate a staggering £685 million in economic growth.

Transport links and traffic flow have already been improved in and around Morecambe.

Image credit: Tom via Flickr

Despite the already established and well regarded transport links that are already in place, the report states that improving traffic flow between Lancaster and Morecambe, and faster, more frequent train journeys between all of Lancashire’s main stations, will boost the local economy significantly.

Local development projects

Development projects are springing up all the time across Lancashire, proving that investors are viewing the county as one of the country’s rising stars in the property market. Preston was recently tagged as a national housing zone, and 776 new homes look set to be built in the city in order to transform the local area.

Plans are also in place for more homes in Fulwood, on land to the north of Eastway. Developers have worked closely with Lancashire County Council and Preston City Council in order to bring a mixed use development that will include up to 300 new houses for the area.

New housing developments are springing up across Lancashire.

Image credit: John Dickinson via Flickr

Pendle Council Development Management Committee also recently granted permission for 500 new homes to be built in Barrowford, and Darwen Borough Council has also begun clearing sites to make way for the proposed 9,400 homes that it wishes to build by 2020.

Councillors are also in discussions about the proposed building of 580 homes in Burscough, West Lancashire. The 180-acre Yew Tree Farm site plan includes 33% affordable housing and 20% homes specifically designed to cater for elderly residents.

Investing in Lancashire

As we have already demonstrated throughout this guide, Lancashire is certainly a county that is on the rise. New companies are springing up all the time across the region, and existing businesses are increasingly looking to set up a base in the county, too. Housing is also being taken into consideration. As the local economy grows and more jobs are created, so too will the demand for better housing across this part of Britain.

One such transformative investment project is the Preston and Lancashire City Deal. This scheme aims to provide the area with both jobs and housing in one fell swoop and £434 million worth of investment has already been earmarked for the programme. Improved infrastructure in both Preston and South Ribble will enable the forecasted 20,000 new jobs to be created in the private sector as well as a predicted 17,420 new homes.

The prediction for the resulting boost to the local economy is impressive. It is hoped that the City Deal will generate an extra £1 billion over the next ten years, a decent return on investment and one that will, naturally keep on giving back to the local area.

Then there’s the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) Growth Programme, a scheme that offers funding to areas looking to create jobs and improve growth. The county is currently drafting their Lancashire ESIF Strategy and it is hoped that investment will be forthcoming and that significant benefits will ensue for both local businesses and residents alike.

Lancashire education

As you are thinking of investing in student property, it is naturally prudent to look into the educational facilities that the county has to offer. Lancashire is well served in terms of universities; the key seats of learning that will provide tenants to those investing in purpose built student accommodation. There are four universities within the county’s boundaries, as well as seven colleges that provide the local area with a wide and varied range of higher education courses.

It is the universities that we will explore in more depth here, however, starting with the largest – the University of Central Lancashire.

University of Central Lancashire

Initially founded as the Institution for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge back in 1828 by Joseph Livesey’s Temperance Society, the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is currently the largest of the county’s four seats of learning. With over 25,000 students studying here each and every year, UCLan is the 19th largest university in the whole of the United Kingdom in terms of student numbers.

The University of Central Lancashire is the 19th largest in the UK.

Image credit: Ben Sutherland via Flickr

The university’s campus is an urban one, with sites in Preston and Burnley, as well as two others outside of the county; one in Westlakes, West Cumbria that carries out programmes related to nuclear and energy research; and a second in Cyprus that cost an estimated €53 million and opened its doors in 2012.

Over 100 different countries are represented by the overseas students and researchers here at UCLan and the university has active partnerships with 125 international institutions. The popularity of the facility with those from outside the UK is something that should not be ignored by those who are thinking of buying into the student property market in the area, as the vast majority will be looking for places to stay while they study here.

Edge Hill University

Situated in Ormskirk, Lancashire, Edge Hill University is an extremely well regarded educational facility that finally came top in the prestigious annual Times Higher Education Awards in 2014 after having been shortlisted three times previously. The university was also named as the Times Higher Education’s Best University Workplace in 2015 thanks to the outstanding response from its workforce in the Times Higher Education (THE) Best University Workplace Survey.

Edge Hill University currently has around 16,000 students on its books and, as one would expect by its performance in the aforementioned awards, its overall satisfaction rating is extremely high. The university’s student union was also voted as the best in the North West of England and it is one of only two universities to have been given a Green Flag Award for the upkeep of its safe, welcoming and attractive campus.

The 160-acre site in Ormskirk, upon which the campus is situated, has a student hub, sports complex, arts centre and a multitude of faculties and facilities for students to enjoy and make use of. Edge Hill is truly a remarkable university.

Lancaster University

Known officially as the University of Lancaster, Lancaster University is a member of the N8 group of research universities along with Liverpool, Leeds, Durham, Manchester, Newcastle, York and Sheffield. It celebrated its 50th anniversary a couple of years back (2014) with several events spread across the year that involved students both past and present.

Its main campus is Bailrigg, a site that was donated in 1963 by Lancaster City Council. It spans an impressive 360 acres and  was specifically designed to integrate residential, social and teaching areas. Vehicular traffic is separated from pedestrianised areas by way of a peripheral road that has a linking underpass, which also houses the recently refurbished Bailrigg bus station.

The university has four faculties: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences; Faculty of Health and Medicine; Faculty of Science and Technology; and the Faculty of Management. The university consistently appears within the top 15 of UK newspaper league tables and is highly regarded both locally and beyond.

University of Cumbria

Despite the somewhat misleading name, the University of Cumbria actually has a major campus in Lancaster on Bowerham Road. The university came into being after the merger of the Cumbria Institute of the Arts and St Martin’s College, Lancaster.

Over 9,000 students move through the University of Cumbria each year.

Image credit: John Campbell via Flickr

There are two faculties within the university, the Faculty of Health and Science and the Faculty of Education, Arts, and Business. Over 9,000 students move through the University of Cumbria each year and it is currently ranked within the top 100 universities in the UK by The Times.

Student life in Lancashire

The range of things to do in and around Lancashire is wide and varied. Cities such as Preston, Blackpool and Blackburn all offer plenty in the way of entertainment for the local student population, but it’s also worth remembering that both Liverpool and Manchester are within easy reach too.

Preston has great shopping areas, some decent galleries and an extensive café culture that is ever growing thanks largely to the student population making use of the city’s coffee shops while they are not in the lecture halls. For those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the urban environment, there are also parks within the city centre that offer an oasis of calm without having to travel too far.

Brighton is full of culture and entertainment.

Image credit: Gidzy via Flickr

Nightlife is also good across the county. There are numerous clubs, bars, music venues and eateries to explore. As well as all the usual chain venues, there are also one or two surprises to be found. Get down to Blackburn where you’ll find a plethora of indie venues and also a revitalised Northern Soul scene for those who like to dance until they drop. Then, of course, there’s Blackpool. Blackpool’s nightlife is well known throughout the country and many travel here for a night on the town.

Lancashire has pretty much everything a student needs while they are studying, and a lot more besides. As life away from the campus is usually one of the most important things to any prospective student, this is good news for investors and a factor that should be taken into consideration when looking for your next investment vehicle.

Ready to start your Lancashire investment journey? You might also be interested in reading Everything You need To Know About Student Property Investment In The UK and The Advantages Of Buying Off-Plan Investments.

Or you can contact us to find out how Aspen Woolf can help.

Everything You Need to Know About Student Property Investment in the UK

If you have been keeping tabs on the best performing investment vehicles over the last few years, you’ll already be aware of student property and just how good an opportunity this part of the housing sector can be for investors. If you haven’t, or you simply wish to find out more about it, you’ll be glad to hear that you’re in the right place to get the low down on student accommodation in the UK, and the benefits that it can bring as part of a diversified portfolio.

What are the yields like?

As with any investment, the return that you receive may vary, but on average an investor in student property can expect to receive around 6 per cent. Some parts of the country, however, can produce yields of 7 per cent and beyond.

Student properties give a yield of 6-7%

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Is the demand really there?

Most definitely. Student applications across Britain are at an all-time high, and the prediction for the future is that numbers will grow considerably. This is largely due to the fact that the government recently lifted the cap on how many students each university could have on their books, but there is another reason that is especially pertinent to investors.

Overseas students are heading to the UK in record numbers. British universities are seen as amongst the best in the world, and the vast majority of students hoping to get the finest education that they can are applying to at least one UK university. Why does this matter to investors? Well, they all need somewhere to stay while they are studying, and your property will fit the bill nicely!

Demand is high for student properties in the UK

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Is it a safe way to invest?

Of course, all investments carry a certain degree of risk, but when compared to other forms of investment, student accommodation fares extremely well. This part of the housing sector has continued to go from strength to strength over the last decade, despite the global financial crisis that hit in 2007 and 2008. Compare that to the stock markets across the world – some of which are looking particularly shaky at present – and you have good reason to be confident that your investment will perform as expected.

Student property is one of the safest types of investment

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Relatively fast turnaround

While having students as tenants can be a risk, the turnaround time makes up for many of the downsides to having students in your property. One to two years is about the norm for most student lets, and should the worst come to the worst, you get to keep their deposits to make right any issues that may have arisen while they were there.

As we’ve already touched upon, finding new tenants will not be a problem if you are close to one of the UK’s many distinguished seats of learning, so fill rates should not be an issue even with this fast turnaround of tenants. Many investors are finding that simply being on a bus route that leads to the local uni is enough to secure multiple enquiries each time they place their property back on the market.

Most students only stay in their properties for 1-2 years

Image credit: scyther5 via 123RF

If you liked this post why not read Why Student Property Is the Most Popular Investment In The UK or check out our infographic covering yields across UK student lets.

The Need For Accessible Student Accommodation Is At An All Time High

Things have improved greatly for disabled students since the passing of the Disability Discrimination Act in 2005 and the Equality Act in 2010 but, as our infographic shows, there is still a long way to go until they gain true parity with their able-bodied peers.

For example only 20% of university buildings have adequate toilet facilities for those who need hoists to help them use the lavatory; 30% of disabled people we surveyed claimed that student unions were not situated in an inclusive and accessible environment; 3 out of every 4 people we spoke to claimed that organising care from their local authority was not as easy as it should be; 70% said they couldn’t access a disabled students society while they were on campus; only half of all English universities have full access to teaching rooms, study rooms and libraries; and only 25% have a freshers’ induction for disabled students.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom for disabled students – far from it. Standards have improved greatly over the last couple of decades, but there is still work to be done. Demand for places from disabled students are now at an all-time high; meaning that essentials, such as accessible student accommodation, are often in short supply.

Take a moment to find out more about Equal Access with our infographic below. It includes what needs to happen in order to improve the current situation, as well as a university ranking table based upon a disability questionnaire. Let us know your thoughts.

Equal Access At Universities

Created by Aspen Woolf

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<a href=” Access At Universities .jpg”><img src=’ Access At Universities .jpg’ width=”500″ alt=”The need for accessible student accommodation is at an all time high” /></a><div style=”margin: 0 0 10px 0″> Created by <a href=””>Aspenwoolf </a></div>

Visit this page for information on the student property investments that are currently available and to read more about student investment why not read our post What To Look Out For When Investing In Student Property.

With thanks to Muscular Dystrophy Campaign Trailblazers for much of the information.

Why Student Property Is The Most Popular Type of Investment in The UK

Residential buy-to-lets may have been making all of the headlines in the national press recently, but it is student property that has been the investment of choice for many over the last decade or so. Shrewd investors have been building portfolios chock full of student properties, and that trend looks set to continue as we move forward into 2016.

So, what makes them such a draw for those in the know? Let’s examine why this kind of acquisition has struck a chord with so many for so long.

student property investment uk

Image credit: NEC Corporation of America

Demand is high

Put simply, there isn’t enough high quality property on the market to meet the ever-growing demand, and that demand shows no sign of diminishing any time soon. One of the main reasons why the student property market is expected to remain strong over the coming years is the removal of the cap on the amount of places universities can offer students.

Money is already being injected into campuses across the country so that these seats of learning can expand their capacity and open their doors to greater numbers of students; the vast majority of which will all require accommodation while they carry out their studies.

international student property

Image credit: Matt Cline via Flickr

International enrolment figures are rising, too, and these overseas students will also add to the demand that the supply simply cannot meet at present.

Student property is remarkably stable

Every investment has an element of risk attached to it, but student property does seem to ride out market blips far better than any other type of investment available today.

This section of the property market has steadily increased over the last decade, a time frame which includes what many considered to be the greatest recession the world has seen in a generation. While pensions and stock exchanges floundered, the student property market kept on rising, regardless of what was happening elsewhere.

upwards arrow

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Growth is forecasted to continue, too

The rise in investment across the first half of 2015 within the student housing market tells us that confidence is high in this sector. £1.5 billion more was spent this year than during the same period in 2014, bringing the total investment value up to an astonishing £3.98 billion.

This kind of conviction in the student property market is fuelled by the perception held by many investors that the residential buy-to-let market may be slowing. This belief, while as yet unsubstantiated, is largely due to the changes in taxation brought in by the chancellor in both the main and mini-budgets this year.

property investment growth

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Parental guarantors ensure that you’ll get paid

As demand for property is so high, it really is a landlord’s market. This means that many of those seeking decent accommodation are willing to go the extra mile to ensure that they land the property they want.

Parental guarantors are not unusual in the student property market these days, and there have even been multiple instances of landlords being offered full payment up front to secure a property. This kind of security can make all the difference to a landlord, especially one who is relatively inexperienced with maybe just one or two properties within their portfolio.


Image credit: brad via Flickr

When you take these factors into consideration it is easy to see why the smart money has been going into student property lately. Furthermore, we can’t see any reason why this section of the property market will not continue to perform well over the coming months and years.

If you enjoyed this blog post then perhaps you might like to read “Is Student Property The UK’s No 1 Investment?

Feature image credit: My Make OU via

Smart Investments – Yields Across UK Student Lets [Interactive Infographic]

Student property is arguably one of the safest and most sought after type of property investment. With international students alone contributing £10 billion towards our economy it’s hard to ignore the benefits of investing in student properties. With this in mind we have created an interactive infographic to show you the investment yields for student lets across the UK from 2014-2015. The areas we cover in this infographic (from top to bottom) are Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, York, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Chester, Birmingham, Cambridge, London, Bristol and Southampton.

You may notice that this leaves us with 3 additional plus signs, that’s because we’ve also added in the % increase in entry rates from 2006 to 2014 for the UK plus the 10 best and 10 worst buy to let hot spots based on their rental yields. If you’re still not sure about investing in student property then why not have a look at our previous infographic called “Student Property Investment“, it details both the growth of the property market as well as the growth in both international and mature students.

So why not have a play around with our interactive infographic? Just click the play button to get started.

Trinity Hall, Leeds – See It Take Shape!

Who doesn’t love seeing things they feel passionately about taking shape? Whether it’s art unfolding to an artist, business successes to an entrepreneur, personal bests for an athlete, or just something small like seeing results after finally joining the gym. Well, this is how we feel when we see our developments take form. It’s almost like watching your own child grow up. It all starts so slow, and then all of a sudden you can’t believe how much has changed in such a short time.

This is why we’re excited to be able to say that construction is now underway on Trinity Hall! Don’t worry, if you’re the type of person that would rather skip ahead to the pictures, then you can check out the gallery below to see Trinity Hall take shape.

For anyone not yet aware of what Trinity Hall is, it’s one of newest UK student property investments located in the popular city of Leeds. It comes with larger than average units that also feature coveted double occupancy. Meaning that couples that want to share finally can! It’s hard if not near impossible to find student accommodation that facilitates double occupancy. As the demand for more purpose built student housing has surged over recent years so has the increased demands brought forth by students. They want something close, ultra modern, and now also want to be able to share if they are in a relationship for example. This is why Trinity Hall is here – to fill those gaps in the market, and many more.

Trinity Hall is also one of the closest student developments to educational facilities, making it just a 5 minute walk to the University of Leeds and a short 12 minutes away from the City Centre.

Some units even come fully ‘Smart’ equipped. We won’t go into a huge amount of detail there as it can be a bit techy, but let’s just say that it is definitely the future of housing! To give you a taste, you can remotely control things such as heating from your phone anywhere, even whilst doing your weekly shop. We had the privilege to test out some of the features and they’re just incredible, makes us envious of what students these days really get!

If you’re the type of person that tends to be a bit hesitant about 100% off-plan investments, but still yearn to take advantage of off-plan prices, then Trinity Hall might just be the solution for you. With construction already underway it makes Trinity Hall a secure investment with units starting at just £69,995. Once construction for phase one is complete prices will rise with it, so it might be worth your while to see what is still available.


August 2015 – Site Cleared

August 2015 – Ready For Piling

September 2015 – Piling Has Begun

September 2015 – Piling Complete!

At the end of the day, Trinity Hall offers so much more than just a great place to live and study. It’s a place for students in Leeds to come to make the most out of their time at university and a development investors can profit from for years to come. If you would like more information about Trinity Hall or any other developments to date please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Alternatively you can read more about Trinity Hall directly by clicking here.

A Guide To Investing In Student Property in Bolton

The student property market is an area that has been attracting investors for some time now, but many tend to overlook parts of the UK that are not commonly known as university cities or towns. This is a mistake, as there are some excellent opportunities to be had away from the likes of Oxford, London, Durham, and Cambridge.

Bolton is one such town. Despite only having one university within its boundaries, Bolton is still a viable option for those looking to invest in student property.

An overview of Bolton’s economy

student property investments

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As with so many towns across the North West of England, Bolton’s heritage lies in industry. The former mill town has been associated with the textiles industry ever since the 14th century when Flemish weavers first settled in the area. As the industrial revolution took shape, Bolton was handily placed to make the most of the booming manufacturing age and the cotton mills were the main source of employment for local people.

At its height, Bolton had over 200 cotton mills in operation. However, the First World War spelt the beginning of the end for the British cotton industry and the amount of mills in operation began to decline until the cotton industry virtually ceased to exist in the 1980s.

bolton property investment

Photo Credit: Pimlico Badger via Flickr

The traditional industries that once fuelled Bolton’s economy have now largely been replaced by more service-based sectors. While this has been the case for much of the North of England, Bolton has seemingly done rather well from the transition. Regarded as the fifth largest employment base in the northwest, the town is experiencing growth year-on-year and is a major player in the Manchester City Region.

The town’s location has a lot to do with its growing prosperity and the area has been able to attract household names such as AXA, Hitachi, RBS, and the grocery giant, Warburtons, to invest in it. Good road and rail networks and easy access to Manchester Airport mean that investment in the town is far from over either. Analysts predict that Bolton will see further investment over the coming 10 to 15 years that could run into the hundreds of millions, creating in excess of 10,000 jobs across a number of sectors in the process.

Location and transport

bolton transport

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As mentioned above, Bolton is in a great location. Situated just 10 miles northwest of Manchester, Bolton is ideal for those who need to commute to the city for either work or education. The town is served by both local buses and the National Express coach network as well as being part of the West Coast Mainline Manchester loop. This provides commuters with an easy 35-minute train journey to Manchester Piccadilly station.

The local road network is decent, too. Both local and national routes are well catered for with the A666 providing routes north and south. The southern end of the A-road is also a spur road for the M60/M61 motorway network.

Planned regeneration projects

newport street bolton

Photo Credit: Mikey via Flickr

Regeneration is often a good indicator of where a town or city is heading, and Bolton has been in the news of late for all the right reasons. Bolton town centre looks set for an overhaul, with the local council announcing that a £3 million regeneration project for the pedestrianized Newport Street is underway.

New paving, lighting, trees, and seating areas will transform the look of the walk-through, and shop frontages will also be spruced up in order to give the area a more consistent and uniform look. It is hoped that the work will give residents and visitors to Bolton town centre a ‘seamless, open route’ to the £48 million transport development that is taking place at the interchange from Victoria Square.

Le Mans Crescent Bolton

Photo Credit: Mikey via Flickr

The co-location of Bolton’s main bus and railway station is the centre of the £48 million transport interchange redevelopment that is taking shape in the town. Included in the plans is an impressive pedestrianized ‘skylink’ bridge, and the Newport Street overhaul is hoped to play a part in restyling the changing face of the town centre.

However, it doesn’t end there for Newport Street. A £6.5 million office development on the corner of Great Moor Street was also announced earlier this year. The 30,000 square ft. of Grade A office space is being built to complement its surroundings, and demand for the building is already said to be high. It is hoped that all work will be completed by the end of 2016.

bolton property investment

Photo Credit: Steve Glover via Flickr

Bolton Council has also identified 11 areas of the town where urban regeneration needs to take place. They have put in place a Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy (NRS) that will run alongside the Council’s Community Strategy in order to create a better standard of living for residents in the nominated areas.

Working together with residents, it is hoped that the council will be able to bring the 11 areas up to the high standard that the rest of the town enjoys. This will prove to be beneficial to investors in Bolton in the long-term, as the overall regeneration project will help the town move forward towards an even brighter future than it is experiencing now.

Future housing developments

bolton sunset

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Alongside the aforementioned office space in the town centre, there are a few housing projects of note taking place in and around Bolton too. Catering for the young professionals that are being attracted to the town by the ever-larger companies who are setting up shop there, these housing developments are sure to help existing property prices to rise.

Bolton Council’s core strategy for housing aims to distribute the amount of new homes built across the town by 2026. The percentages of new build properties per region are as follows:

  • Bolton town centre – 10 to 20%
  • Horwich Loco Works – 10 to 15%
  • Renewal areas – 35 to 45%
  • Outer areas – 20 to 30%

bolton town centre

Photo Credit: diggler141 via Flickr

The council has promised to operate a policy that concentrates on delivering quality property in locations where it is most needed. The Regional Spatial Strategy reported that there should be a minimum of 578 new homes built in Bolton each year up to 2021, with the recommendation that this figure continues on through to 2026.

The report also requests that a minimum of 80 per cent of all new build dwelling be constructed on Brownfield sites, which will make use of the towns many industrial areas that are now redundant.

Why invest in Bolton?

clarence street school bolton

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As we have already touched upon, Bolton is an area that is currently being invested in by big businesses and the local council. Economic regeneration is fully underway across the whole of the Greater Manchester region and Bolton is seen as one of the guiding lights.

Both the public and private sectors have invested in excess of £1 billion over recent years and the trend looks set to continue for the foreseeable future. It is worth remembering that much of this growth and investment has taken place against the backdrop of the recession and decreased spending thanks to the austerity measures that have been put in place countrywide.

bolton town hall

Photo Credit: Mikey via Flickr

The investment that has been made is starting to have a dramatic effect on the property market in Bolton. Yields are beginning to increase as the town flourishes and even the overspill from Manchester’s poor property supply is providing beneficial consequences for those who have property with a BL postcode.

Those looking for capital gains will also welcome the fact that Bolton has some of fastest rising house prices across England and Wales. Prices in Bolton are now 3.1% higher than they were a year ago and the town outperformed Manchester, which only saw a 2.5% increase, across the same period.

bolton canal

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Getting in at the bottom of the market is naturally the most desirable point at which to enter, but that does come with an element of risk. Bolton, however, has already started to show some fantastic signs of growth in recent times so investors would be wise to give this northwest town far more than just a cursory glance.

Bolton’s educational facilities

As you are looking to invest in student property it stands to reason that you would want to know as much as possible about the further education that is on offer in Bolton. This town, however, differs from most, as it not only has its own university for which your property may be rented, but also the universities of the city of Manchester as well.

student property investments

Photo Credit: UNH Manchester via Flickr

Property supply in Manchester is scarce and largely unaffordable for many struggling students and Bolton provides an attractive solution. That being said, Bolton’s only university does still have a number of students that will be looking for accommodation too, so you are presented with a number of options.

Property around the University of Bolton is in high demand from students looking for places to stay for the duration of their studies. The areas around Farnworth and Moses Gate railway stations are particularly attractive to students who need to travel into Manchester city centre.

The University of Bolton

the university of Bolton

Photo Credit: University of Bolton via Flickr

Bolton’s only university is relatively new. It gained university status in 2004 and changed its name from the Bolton Institute of Higher Education to the University of Bolton after much deliberation over what should be its new moniker.

The primary campus is situated on a site that sits between Derby Street and Deane Road and the university currently has just over 9,000 students enrolling each year.

The university has been undergoing renovation and it recently unveiled a new University Technical College and a facility for Science and Engineering after winning a £10 million seal of approval for the new building from the government. Further expansion and renovation across the current campus is expected to continue through to 2017.

university of bolton

Photo Credit: University of Bolton via Flickr

Much of the university’s student population comes from the local area, but there is also a good head of students who enroll from outside of the UK too – the vast majority of which always require decent accommodation for the duration of their studies.

Student life in Bolton

Bolton offers a number of bars and clubs locally, but it is the close proximity to the nightlife offered by Manchester that is likely to widen the eye of the student. The big city is only 30 minutes away and the wealth of entertainment on offer there far surpasses that of Bolton itself.

bolton students

Photo Credit: University of Bolton via Flickr

For those who like to shop, the same applies. Manchester has a fantastic array of shopping options and the restaurant scene will keep even the most enthusiastic foodie happy too.

Sporting facilities are decent in Bolton with a number of gyms, leisure centres, and sports fields available to those who prefer to keep active.


Bolton is a town on the up, and it’s proximity to one of the UK’s largest cities, Manchester, is a huge benefit to those who wish to invest here. With house prices in Bolton having risen by more than 3% compared to last year, and money being spent in the northwest town, the future looks rosy for those looking to be a part of Bolton’s future.

Feature image credit: albert barker via Flickr.