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Student renters happier in purpose-built accommodation, says new report

Report reveals how students who can afford 'PBSA' accommodation during their first year then find it harder to enter the often shabbier traditional market.

Nigel Lewis

student accommodation renters

Have you ever heard of a ‘twodio’ or a ‘cluster flat’? Then you need to brush up on the latest lingo coming out of the newbuild student renters market.

The two terms – the former being a two-bedroom flat with shared bathroom and cooking facilities and the latter a larger apartment with en-suite bedrooms and shared kitchen – are the latest kind of property being built to lure students into upmarket student digs.

It’s all within a new report from Knight Frank, which has surveyed some 60,000 students in partnerships with admissions body UCAS.

As well as highlighting the two new types of property, the report highlights how ‘purpose built student accommodation’ or PBSA blocks are becoming increasingly popular with students, and in particular foreign students.

This includes both second and third-year undergraduates, more of whom are staying in the shinier and more fashionable PBSA apartments rather than decamping to lower-quality traditional properties.

30% more expensive

But this kind of accommodation is expensive. The Knight Frank reports shows that, on average, students living in private PBSA are paying £7,990 a year in rent on average, 30% higher than students living in privately rented house shares.

“Overall, it is encouraging to see that the survey shows high levels of student satisfaction within the PBSA market, more so in fact than the alternatives available in the private rental sector,” says James Pullan, Global Head of Student Property at Knight Frank.

PBSA investment is expected to have totalled £3.75bn druing 2019 according to research by Cushman & Wakefield.

Read more about student accommodation.


January 3, 2020

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