The Rise of Student Housing as an Asset Class

When choosing who to manage and advise on student housing assets it is important to have someone with a solid grounding in the subject. This will take you to a dissertation recently submitted to the University of Salford on HMO and student housing in general in Durham.

This study looks at the likely impact on Durham City caused by the rise of student housing as an asset class which has created a large number of planning applications for purpose built student accommodation (PBSA). Principally it looks at how this affects the local settled community, socially and economically, as well as its impact on providers of traditional student shared houses (HMO). The study will examine views amongst industry professionals and local residents in Durham and the comparison cities to explore the social, economic and structural impact of the creation of 4,200 extra student bed spaces in Durham. Whilst drawing on secondary evidence in comparison cities of York and Liverpool much of the data is from a mixed method approach using structured interviews with local residents of York, Durham and Liverpool and key industry professionals in the student housing sector. The study also analyses primary data collected from student surveys in the cities of York, Liverpool and Durham.

One of the main indications from the study is that local residents feel that local authorities have been very slow to bring any controlling policies into place to create a framework for the expansion of PBSA within their city and that any planning action that has been taken has not been sufficient. The local population feel that there are too many PBSA and that many are half empty, especially with single occupancy studios. A further indication of the study is that there is likely to be an oversupply of accommodation caused by the number of PBSA applications in major university cities. This study demonstrates a unique and innovative contribution to the field of property management and planning.

Please click here to access the full study.

This has been graded with a distinction.