Shortage of student accommodation in Lancaster leading to increased co-operation between universities and private providers


Prime Student Living, the student accommodation lettings and operational management arm of the Crosslane Group, has found that a shortage of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) in many popular UK university cities, such as Lancaster is leading to increased cooperation between universities and private providers.

There are over 11,000 full time students at Lancaster University, the majority of which require accommodation, and there are currently nearly two students for every available room (1.61 students to every bed). Although the University’s accommodation has won ‘Best University Halls’ at the National Student Housing Awards for the last seven consecutive years and several new PBSA developments have recently been built in the city, there continues to remain a chronic shortage of student accommodation in Lancaster. As a result, Lancaster University is cooperating with private providers, such as Prime Student Living, to ensure that demand for quality student accommodation is met.

While House in Multiple Occupancy (HMO) properties remain a popular option for students, where a group of friends rent a property from a private landlord, there is a growing trend towards PBSA developments, with more joining the market at competitive 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.

The Prime Student Living Cable Street student accommodation property in Lancaster also has other benefits such as all utility bills being included within the rent, free superfast Wi-Fi, free contents insurance, cleaning, parking, 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. This 233 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 46 or 50 weeks, enabling it to offer a wide range of affordable rent options.

Cable Street is bridging the gap between HMO properties and the most recent new PBSA developments to open in the city, as its rent prices are up to 55% lower than these, with rooms from just £77pw.  In addition, it is the only private student accommodation provider in the city to offer a washer/dryer in every kitchen, helping students to save time and money, by not having to use a separate laundry. The property is located right in the heart of Lancaster city centre, giving residents easy access to local amenities.

The property is managed by Prime Student Living, who are currently welcoming individual and group applications from students at Lancaster University and the University of Cumbria.

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

“Increasingly students are finding that HMOs are missing the mark when it comes to standard of living and amenities, and with rents rising across the private sector, they are also becoming more expensive. Not only is purpose-built accommodation proving to be an attractive and affordable alternative, but the rise of this type of accommodation will free up more housing for local families and young professionals to rent.

Cable Street is a textbook example of this. With a high annual customer satisfaction score and 81% recommendation rate, it is clear that the affordable, high quality accommodation it provides is a popular choice for students. Whilst being close to fully occupied, 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.”