PBSA bed numbers in Newcastle have overtaken university hall bed numbers

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In Newcastle, the number of private purpose-built student accommodation beds has for the first time overtaken the number of beds of university halls of residents helping to free up private housing for young professionals and families to rent

In Newcastle, the number of private purpose-built student accommodation beds has, for the first time, overtaken the number of beds of university halls of residents, 7,554 compared to 6,972 respectively serving the 43,390 full time students in the city according to research conducted by Prime Student Living, the student accommodation lettings and operational management arm of Crosslane.

Private purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) improves choice to students and helps encourage higher levels of applications to the universities in the city, as students know they have high quality accommodation to live in following their first year stay in university halls. In addition, the increase in purpose-built student accommodation ensures more private houses are being made available for young professionals and families to rent, instead of being rented by students.

The trend in Newcastle is in line with Knight Frank’s latest market analysis which shows that the value of private sector beds in the UK is now equal to the value of university-owned beds at £22.9bn. With 25,000 private sector beds expected to be delivered in 2017, the private sector is likely to account for more than 50% of the total student accommodation market by value at the end of the year.

While House in Multiple Occupancy (HMO) properties, rented out by private landlords, remain a popular option for students, there is a growing trend towards purpose-built student accommodation, with more joining the market at competitve prices. Furthermore, in an effort to improve the standard of HMO properties, local authorities are cracking down on HMO licenses, however, this has the adverse effect of driving up HMO rents for students, making PBSA developments an increasingly affordable alternative.

With HMO rents on the rise, particularly within city centres, domestic and international students are attracted to PBSA developments because of their additional benefits; such as living within a larger community of like-minded peers, the opportunity to make new friends, collaborative study and learning and hanging out together in a great range of communal spaces.

The new Albert Place student accommodation property which was opened by the Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Councillor Linda Wright on 7 September 2017, also has other benefits over HMO such as all utility bills being included within the rent, free superfast Wi-Fi, free contents insurance, free onsite gym, common room, cycle storage, 24/7 CCTV with secure key fob entry system and an onsite management and maintenance team to deal with any queries or issues on the spot. In addition, a welcome event is being held on Wednesday 11th October for new residents moving into Albert Place, with food, drinks and games to help new students feel at home.

This 134 bedroom property is helping to ease the supply/demand divergence by delivering high-quality, well located, purpose-built student accommodation and meets a diverse range of student budgets by providing different sized rooms, with tenancies available for either 44 or 50 weeks, enabling it to offer a wide range of affordable rent options, from £113 to £135 per week for an ensuite room, compared to up £337.50pw for some studios offered by other operators in the city. Albert Place is the fourth student accommodation property that Crosslane has developed in Newcastle in the past four years, bringing the total number of beds it has created in the city to 700.

Albert Place is located just down the road from The Shield, the new Fresh Student Living scheme, which was completed around the same time. With high occupany levels at both properties, this suggests there is continued demand for purpose-built student accommodation in the city. Crosslane also has a fifth Newcastle development in the pipeline to help ease the supply/demand fundamentals which persist for high quality, well located, purpose-built student accommodation in this fantastic student city.

Tommy Styles, Operations Director at Prime Student Living, said:

Students who want to get ahead in the labour market continue to seek out the best universities and make the associated investment in their accommodation. Students desire the full experience, the best teaching facilities, living standards and the city experience and purpose-built can give them that. Furthermore, purpose-built student accommodation helps to free up private housing for young professionals and families to rent.

“Prime Student Living, the student accommodation lettings and operational management arm of Crosslane, has successfully ensured that our Albert Place development is today already 85% let. There are a few remaining places for those who are quick to get in touch with the booking team for the 2017/18 academic year.”