Student accommodation boom shows no sign of slowing

Grant Prior 12 years ago
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Student accommodation specialist Unite believes demand will keep rising despite planned hikes in tuition fees.

Unite currently has schemes in the pipeline to deliver more than 4,500 student rooms across the country over the next three years.

The firm highlighted its development plans in a trading update today and said future prospects were bright despite fears over the cost of higher education.

Unite said: “Applications to study at UK Universities are 2.1% above 2010/11 levels indicating that, with no increase in funded places, 210,000 applicants will not obtain a place at University this year, which underlines the continued strength of demand for places.

“With the introduction of the higher tuition fees in 2012 and approximately 70% of Universities indicating they will set their fees at or above £8,500, we are anticipating a reduction in applications next year.

“However, due to the latent demand highlighted above, we do not anticipate a significant reduction in actual student numbers in the University cities in which we operate.

“International students, who will not be affected by the changes in tuition fees, now represent 46% of Unite’s customer base (70% in Greater London) and we expect this proportion to increase as UK Universities continue to be an attractive option for students around the world.”

Unite also believes barriers to entry in its main London market will prevent rivals trying to muscle-in on the market.

The firm said: “Continued constraints on debt finance and an increasingly challenging planning environment, in London in particular, seem likely to persist and we believe these barriers to entry will help Unite to maintain its strong competitive position.”

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