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Expectations rocket as university students prepared to pay more for their accommodation

Expectations rocket as university students prepared to pay more for their accommodation
  • Proportion of students paying higher rents has shot up (UCAS)
  • Students who pay more, demand more (Collegiate AC)
  • 88% of students are happy in their accommodation (UCAS)
  • Durham’s Ernest Place, with sauna, gym, cinema and rooftop bar, highlights new standards being set (Collegiate AC)

Newly published data from UCAS has shown that 88% of the UK’s students are happy in their accommodation. That’s despite rising rent costs. In fact, it may well be directly because of rising rent costs.

Expectations rocket as university students prepared to pay more for their accommodation2

“The UCAS figures show that student rents have been rising over the past couple of years, but that’s because there are now a wider range of superior accommodation options available to those at university. Older style accommodation does still exist, but the satisfaction and rent data seems to indicate that students are prepared to pay more but also demand more from higher priced accommodation.”

Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate AC

The UCAS data reveals that the vast majority of students living in first year accommodation now pay between £401 and £600 per calendar month in rent. The Accommodation Survey 2016 reports that:

“In general, respondents paying lower rent have declined… whilst the higher costs of rent are on the rise.”

The evolution of purpose built student accommodation (PBSA), which is attracting massive investment in the UK right now (£3.1 billion in 2016, according to Knight Frank), means that students’ choices have improved considerably over the past few years when it comes what they can expect from their accommodation.

The chandeliers, huge ferns and stylish, comfortable armchairs of the common room at opulent Plummer House in Newcastle highlight how sophisticated student residences have become.

Expectations rocket as university students prepared to pay more for their accommodation3

More reminiscent of a swanky, boutique hotel than a hall of residence, the spacious, split-level studio apartments, with their bright, contemporary interiors and high end furnishings are better than many young working professionals can expect.

Then there are the on-ite facilities – students can access their own club lounge and bar, private cinema, gym and games area, as well as a dedicated study room designed to provide a peaceful environment for academic pursuits.

When it comes to choosing their accommodation, students ranked location, cost and quality as the top three ‘very important’ factors, at 67%, 63% and 52% respectively, according to UCAS.

Location is important both in terms of access to the university, but also to the amenities of their local city. Ernest Place in Durham, for example, which is due to open to residents in September 2017, allows residents to access both the city centre and the university’s Durham city location in just 10 minutes.

Ernest Place is also an excellent example of how the student accommodation sector continues to evolve. The first Collegiate Prestige Collection site, it features a stunning sauna, glass-walled Sky Lounge with contemporary rooftop terrace, private fitness centre, cinema, dinner party room, concierge service and plenty of dedicated study zones. The accommodation has been beautifully interior designed to create an environment that is at once stunningly contemporary yet homely and warm. All from just £125 per week.

With accommodation evolving to this degree, it’s no wonder that students are prepared to pay more for their university digs and still report an incredibly high level of satisfaction with living there.

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