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Traditional UK Property for Student Accommodation - A Good Investment?

Date Posted: Wed, 26 Aug, 2020

Traditional UK Property for Student Accommodation - A Good Investment?

According to property investment company, Grant Property, buying traditional properties for students in the UK is an attractive and safe investment.

There are over 2 million students in the UK, many from overseas. The numbers are increasing every year and consequently the rental market is thriving. Parents are recognising the virtues of buying property for their student son or daughter to offset tax, save on rental outgoings and even generate an income from letting out spare rooms. Institutional investors and overseas investors, attracted by the high rental yields and price growth, are scooping up residential properties in their bid to capitalise on this flourishing market.

Michelle Grant Investment Director of Grant Property, which has been sourcing, refurbishing and managing traditional UK buy-to-let properties for clients around the world in over 23 years, says that:

“The UK student rental market is as safe as it gets. Occupancy levels are high and because the student market is less affected by economic or political events than other sectors, this provides stability for the investor. Uncertainty can certainly affect demand, but where some London properties dipped over the last couple of years, the regional cities scored, especially those with a high student population. We have seen an unprecedented surge of interest from overseas and UK investors, keen to get their hands-on UK properties in student cities outside London, including Manchester, Bristol, Nottingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Especially with the Stamp Duty holiday in the UK at the moment.

“The key to buy-to-let success is a flourishing rental market, and student accommodation has become the jewel in the crown of the UK property market, with strong demand delivering high yields. The aim of any investment is for highest overall returns. Our clients have seen returns of up to 28% pa over the last 23 years.

We have never seen rents fall in 23 years, just this year we managed to secure a 15% rental increase across our portfolio."

Nowadays students are a discerning bunch and they expect high quality. They want style, comfort and designer bathrooms – a high standard of living. So, according to Michelle Grant, student properties have to live up to those expectations. He says:

“Student flats were notoriously basic at best and grim at worst but living in squalor is a thing of the past and luxury is now the order of the day. Landlords have a duty to protect their tenants in safe, comfortable and secure environments. We have found that if you provide tenants with a smart classy home, then it is more likely that they will keep it that way. Our focus is on traditional properties in good locations, not purpose-built blocks that end to attract mainly first year students.”

There are strict regulations in the property industry and student accommodation is no different. Grant says:

“Safety legislation requirements need to be regularly reviewed and upgraded so that all properties are fully compliant with all regulations and have the necessary licences. Those in the property industry have an obligation to continue to adhere to current standards and rules.”

Grant Property, which sources and manages traditional UK residential properties for investment was set up 23 years ago. The company’s 'one stop shop' of finding suitable traditional properties for clients, purchasing, refurbishing, finding tenants, managing lets, obtaining HMO licences and ensuring compliance with all safety regulations, is unique. Concentrating on ten cities across the UK, particularly those with a high student population, the company focuses on traditional properties in good city centre locations as they combine low risk and high returns. To date they have helped clients invest in over 2500 properties, and currently let to thousands of students per year. The business has grown mainly through referrals and the company now has clients in over 40 countries around the world.