A growing number of first-year students are opting for private, more luxurious student accommodation, rather than the traditional halls of residence, according to accommodation provider Collegiate AC.
The firm’s figures show that first-year students are increasingly shunning university halls in favour of more luxurious private student accommodation.
The CEO of Collegiate AC, Heriberto Cuanalo, says: “Today’s freshers have more choice than ever before when it comes to student pads. They are making the most of that choice by opting for alternatives to university halls. The image of the university lifestyle has changed dramatically over the past decade or so, and university halls are no longer in line with what students demand as part of their experience, so they’re voting with their feet.”
Collegiate AC’s data shows that first-year students accounted for 20.19% of its residents back in 2015/16. That figure rose to 21.66% in 2016/17 and to 22.06% in 2017/18. The proportion of freshers opting for private pads is rising slowly but steadily, year-on-year.
So why is this happening? First-year students are increasingly expecting a wide range of features from their accommodation. Not only do students now want en-suites in their rooms, but private fitness centres, club lounges, concierge services and dedicated study zones are also in high demand.
“Part of what makes the appeal of accommodation like this so strong is the blend of private space and outstanding social spaces,” explains Cuanalo. “Tuition fees nowadays mean that students have to pay a great deal of money in order to attend university, so it’s not surprising that they want to make the most out of every minute of that experience.”
Many purpose-built accommodation providers are also using the location of their sites to tempt first-year students away from university halls. Sites are not only well located for the university, but also for pedestrian access to the city centre – something that many university halls lack.
Cuanalo comments: “With location as well, it’s about going over and above that which is offered by traditional university accommodation. Most first-years are excited to experience all that their new town or city has to offer, and that means shopping, eating and socialising in the city centre. The more conveniently a property is located for this, the better.”
With demand for luxury student accommodation continuing to grow, there’s an opportunity for landlords to cater to the needs of first-year students with each new academic year – perhaps a new investment option is on the horizon!