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PBSA beds outstrip halls of residence beds in Newcastle for the first time

Research carried out by Prime Student Living has revealed that the number of private purpose-built student accommodation beds in Newcastle has, for the first time, passed the number of beds in university halls of residence.

There are now 7,554 purpose-built student accommodation beds compared to 6,972 university halls of residence ones, all helping to serve the city’s 43,390 full time students.

Private purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) generally offers students a higher quality home to live in, which can in turn help to encourage higher levels of applications to universities in a given city by providing greater levels of choice.

The rise in purpose-built accommodation is also freeing up more private houses for young professionals and families, who no longer have to compete with as many students for homes to rent.

The trend seen in Newcastle is in line with Knight Frank’s latest market analysis, which highlights that the total value of private sector beds in the UK is now equal to the value of university-owned beds (both £22.9bn). By the end of this year, the private sector is set to account for more than half of the total student accommodation market by value, with 25,000 beds set to be delivered in 2017 all told.

Although House in Multiple Occupancy (HMO) homes, let out by private landlords, remain the most popular option for students, a growing movement towards purpose-built student accommodation is being witnessed. This is being helped by more of these types of home joining the market at competitive and attractive prices.

Local authorities are also cracking down on HMO licenses to improve the standards of HMO properties, which in turn have upped rents for students living in this kind of property. Consequently, PBSA properties have in some cases become an affordable – and desirable – alternative.

Rising HMO rents are particularly prevalent in city centres, which mean both domestic and international students are searching around for other types of rental homes. PSBA developments offer a number of potentially inviting attributes, including communal spaces, collaborative study and larger living spaces.

In Newcastle, the new Albert Place development – recently opened by the Lord Mayor of the city – is one such example of the rise in PBSA homes. The 134-room property, which offers both en suite bedrooms and otherwise, has tenancies available for either 44 or 50 weeks 

It is the fourth student accommodation development that Crosslane has created in Newcastle in the last four years, increasing the overall number of beds it has produced in the city to 700.

“Students who want to get ahead in the labour market continue to seek out the best universities and make the associated investment in their accommodation,” Tommy Styles, operations director at Prime Student Living (the student accommodation lettings and operational management arm of Crosslane), said.

“Students desire the full experience, the best teaching facilities, living standards and the city experience and purpose-built can give them that. Furthermore, purpose-built student accommodation helps to free up private housing for young professionals and families to rent.”

He added: “Prime Student Living has successfully ensured that our Albert Place development is today already 85% let. 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.”

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