In autumn, cities which have a large student population undergo significant change. Of course, 2020 is not your usual year, which means it is likely the number of students in halls of residence and student accommodation will fall. While many Universities are trying to carry on as normal, online and remote learning is on the up.
This could be an issue in Nottingham. Nottingham has been recognised as having the second-highest proportion of student housing in the whole of the country.
Nottingham has a vibrant student population
Studies in 2019 suggest that one in every 14 properties in the city is student accommodation. The only location in England which has a greater proportion of student accommodation is Exeter.
The most recent statistics indicate there were 9,629 student-only properties in Nottingham. The city hosts more than 45,000 students in total.
City Council Portfolio Holder for Planning & Housing, Cllr Linda Woodings, said in 2019; “As a city with tight boundaries and two universities, students make up around 15% of our population – higher than most places. So it’s inevitable we will have a high proportion of student accommodation within the city, but it still only amounts to around 6% of all accommodation. The fact is that the universities are expecting to take in thousands more students in the coming years, and purpose-built student accommodation completed in the last four years is not keeping up with the growing demand.”
Cllr Woodings continued by saying; “We fully expect more developers to want to build student accommodation in Nottingham, but we estimate over 80% of the housing allocated in the Local Plan will be for non-student homes, including a very high proportion of predominantly family housing.”
2020 is a challenging year for landlords
Marc von Grundherr, is a well-known name in the Great Britain property scene, and he spoke of the issues surrounding demand for student rental options. Marc said; “There is currently an evident decline in the level of rental demand from students than we might otherwise expect at this time of year. This has, of course, been driven by a lower number of international students looking for properties due to the travel restrictions and other hurdles that the current pandemic has presented. However, while predictions of student rental market losses are rather eye-watering, to say the least, we don’t believe this will be an issue that plagues the market for long.”
Marc continued by saying; “Many current students are beginning their studies in a virtual capacity until such time they can make a move to [the UK], and once they do, we should see a further influx of demand for suitable student lets. University is very much about the life experience you gain from actually moving to a new city or country.”
Marc concluded by saying; “Like many areas of life this year, we may see a slow start to the university year. But as life develops to deal with COVID-19, greater degrees of normality will prevail, and this is no different in the rental market student or otherwise. The very promising signs are that currently, many boroughs are experiencing massive demand for student rental properties, and this bodes very well for the academic year ahead. Foreign student demand, in particular, can bring very favourable levels of rent for buy-to-let landlords. We regularly have students from China and other areas of Asia renting at well above the average in their chosen areas to ensure they secure the best property they can while studying.”