University challenged? No evidence here

Posted on 27 Aug, 2020

A global pandemic has failed to put off UK and international students, who are gearing up for the start of a new university year in greater numbers than ever.

Despite one of the most turbulent academic years for A Level students in history, a record number of UK-based 18-year-olds have applied for a university place, with application numbers actually rising during lockdown. As it stands, 40.5% of all school leavers have set their sights on further education, compared to 38.9% at the same point in 2019.

International students still expected

On the matter of international applicants and despite Covid-19, a report by IDP Connect in June 2020 found that 69% of overseas students still intended to take their place at a UK university, with indications that academic institutions will even lay on flights to ensure students arrive for September’s start.

In addition, UCAS is predicting that more home-grown school leavers will secure a university place through clearing and fill any gap left by international drop outs, helping to ease the fears of student property landlords. This is no doubt boosted by the ‘flying the nest’ aspect, with many teens extra keen to move out into student accommodation after spending the best part of six months cooped up in the family home.

The search for accommodation gathers pace

As a result, it’s business as usual, with new undergraduates pressing ahead with finding university accommodation. In fact, data released by showed 25% more students were searching online for accommodation in June versus the same month in 2019. 

The dilemma for today’s undergraduates is the type of student accommodation to choose. The biggest influences will be social distancing and shifting priorities, with consideration given to the number of lectures that may be delivered virtually.

Privately rented Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) will usually provide outside space and the opportunity for students to form their own social bubble that they can lockdown with, should the need arise, while the Financial Times reported on a new wave of student hall services that focus on mental wellbeing, increased cleaning and round-the-clock support.

Yield news: Liverpool leads the Northern charge

Investors looking to expand their portfolios and new-to-market landlords will have one thing in common – yields. For those ready to make their move – perhaps to take advantage of a reduced stamp duty bill - the message is to head North. The Mistoria Group’s Managing Director, Mish Liyanage, commented: “London investors are looking for property in the North West, especially in the university cities, where they can enjoy yields of between 8-13%.”

To illustrate Mish’s point, findings released in July 2020 by TotallyMoney examined the best buy-to-let yields in the UK to discover a number of postcodes in Liverpool produced chart topping yields exceeding 10%. Delving deeper into the phenomenon, the city’s university - one of the largest in the UK – and an increasing student population is cited as a reason behind why tenant demand currently outstrips supply.

“There is a high demand for new and renovated shared accommodation for students and young professionals in Liverpool. Over the last 12 months, HMO rents in the city have risen by 6% and now sit at an average of £95 per month,” adds Mish.

Viewber is poised to help place undergraduates in student properties, thanks to our UK-wide service. Whether you’re a letting agent deluged with viewing requests or an overseas parent looking for unbiased reports on suitable properties, one of our Viewbers can be booked with as little as 24 hours notice.

Explore our website or contact us to talk through your requirements.


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