Survey highlights current student accommodation trends

01 March 2024      Jan Capper, CUBO Executive Director

A quick pulse survey of the CUBO Accommodation Strategy Group on 27 February captured this year's key trends in student accommodation management. The anonymised responses to 19 questions are available to CUBO members in the online Knowledge Bank.

In brief:

  • 39% reported housing surpluses last September while 31% reported a shortage, reinforcing reports of a variable and fickle recruitment picture.
  • Rents have typically increased by 3-4% but in some cases by 8%+ , against an increase in the student maintenance loan of 2.5%
  • 83% are offering an undergraduate accommodation guarantee and 60% are offering a PG guarantee for September 2024, signalling that accommodation is an important part of the offer in an ever more competitive market.
  • The housing supply and demand picture for September 2024 varies across the sector with 31% reporting they need more beds, 37% that they have the correct number and 26% saying they have more than they need.
  • With 18% saying they have reduced the number of beds in their portfolio this year, the ability to forecast for year-on-year future supply appears to be improving.
  • Encouragingly, 62% have a team supporting students with private rented accommodation, i.e. not university supplied, following reports that universities may be deskilling their accommodation teams.
  • When asked about the biggest challenge for the next academic year, Affordability and Recruitment were the top two responses.

The survey also looked at accommodation deposits, ways of reducing accommodation surpluses, rent arrears and provision for disabled students.

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