StuRents Q4 2021 student accommodation report reveals some key findings, including the latest UCAS numbers, data on Chinese student visa’s, and planning activity in the sector, which includes applications submitted, those approved and the planning split of accommodation type.
Latest UCAS numbers
The latest data released recently by UCAS shows the number of acceptances from EU domiciled students declined significantly for 2021-22, with numbers down by over 50%. This is in line with data released by UCAS post results day. Similarly, total acceptances were down by 1.5% year-on-year.
Meanwhile, higher tariff providers were also the only institutions to report year-on-year growth in acceptances (1.33%), with medium and lower tariff providers reporting declines of 3.72% and 1.88% respectively.
Chinese student visas
StuRents report reveals the number of Chinese student visas being issued has rebounded significantly. For the year ending September 2021, a total of 135,000 visas were issued – representing a year-on-year increase of 157%.
The figure is also up compared to pre-pandemic levels, with 13.3% more visas issued in the 12-month period compared to 2018-19. Whilst the latest figures could be skewed by those deferring from last year, the recovery is a sign of positivity. Whether the Omicron variant will dampen students’ appetite to travel to the UK is yet to be seen – but there should be a clearer picture when the next figures are released.
There was a slight decline in planning application activity in the last quarter with a total of 6,700 beds submitted. This compares to over 8,500 units lodged in Q3 2021. Most of the new beds put forward in the last quarter of 2021 were in London, thanks largely to three significant new developments.
However, some of the most notable updates in StuRents student accommodation report in Q4 2021 include:
- Unite Students 843-bed scheme on the Travis Perkins site on Harrow Road, London.
- Summix FRB Developments Ltd’s proposed 595-bed scheme in Bristol, which is to be managed by Unite Students.
- A 545-bed project in Edinburgh, submitted by Tynecastle Teague Limited.
- A 374-bed development in Bristol on land bounded by Redcliff Street, St Thomas Street and Three Queens Lane.
- The submission of a 367-bed development in Leicester.
- The University of Exeter received planning for a substantial 1,504-bed project.
- 850 new beds were approved in Great Marlborough Street, Manchester.
- The 705-bed Arena Point scheme in Leeds received the green light.
- Unite Students received planning permission for its 690-bed development in Nottingham.
- A 558-bed project in Baltic Street, Edinburgh was approved.
Of those beds in the pipeline where the floors plans are known, a significant proportion are studio units, which equate to 35% of the beds due to be delivered. The second most abundant size is ensuite clusters arranged in groups of 6 (12.9%), followed by 8 bed ensuite clusters (10.6%).
However, the proportion of studios in the pipeline varies significantly by location. In Coventry, StuRents estimates that 59% of proposed beds consist of studios, whilst in Nottingham, this figure stands at 40%. It is unlikely that all these units will be delivered, but it’s interesting to note the makeup of the supply pipeline in the context of the current market, particularly in Coventry given the challenges the city has faced since the onset of Covid.