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Student property is still offering good prospects

By Simon Thompson

According to Bunk, recent media stories predicting that the UK's student accommodation sector will struggle in 2021 are wide of the mark.

From a survey of students they have carried out, they say the student accommodation sector will remain strong despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

Their findings reveal that 85% of students said they will return in the next academic year to rent a property in the town where their university is.

University experience is much different

Of these, four out of five say that while their university experience is much different from the one they had imagined, they much prefer being at university than living at home.

And 78% of the students questioned said their disappointment was aimed at their university, rather than their current living situation.

The firm says the findings highlight that the student property market in the UK will thrive in 2021.

Bunk also says that while the Covid-19 pandemic will undoubtedly have an impact on the potential future development of student accommodation, they say that purpose-built accommodation (PBSA) providers, as well as private student accommodation landlords, should expect their properties to be filled quickly next year.

Students will return to university in January 2021

The news that students will return to university in January 2021 has been welcomed by Simon Thompson, the managing director of Accommodation for Students.

He said: "While there's no doubt that this year has been difficult for landlords with student accommodation who are worried about whether students will return to their studies, the sector is performing strongly.

"And news that students will return is a positive sign that the accommodation that landlords provide is suitable and they are making a life for themselves in a university town.

"This return to university is to be applauded and student yields are still among the best in the rental sector."

Massive student rent strike planned

Meanwhile, a planned rent strike by students in the New Year will lead to university-provided accommodation being hit.

And the organisers of Rent Strike state on their website that students should 'take back control' - and not just for those living in university halls.

They urge students to start a petition to demand a rent cut, and then threaten a rent strike should enough people support it.

The website says: "It's our collective action that can take housing out of profit ... so we no longer have to bear exploitation."

Rent strikes on university campuses

So far, rent strikes on university campuses including Edinburgh, Sussex and Oxford are being planned after the Christmas break.

Students in Cambridge and Bristol are also promising to join the strike.

The move has been described as the biggest student action in nearly 40 years.

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