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Key trends in student accommodation

By Simon Thompson

Wednesday 21st April 2021, 2 pm.

Join our webinar to find the latest student accommodation trends. During the session we will present the results of a major study into student accommodation choices and decision making. There will be a particular focus on what students perceive as being the differences between HMO’s and purpose built student accommodation. The aim of the session will be to share this student opinion and surface key themes that can benefit landlords, agents and PBSA operators.

The session will be hosted by the MD of AFS Simon Thompson and presented by Nick Emms. Simon and Nick will be joined by a small team of students who were involved in the research to elaborate on the findings and address any direct questions.

The session will last approximately 45 mins and will be held on zoom. You can sign up here to participate

More students looking for accommodation.

Despite the challenges posed by Covid 19, the strength of the student accommodation sector is apparent. AFS has seen a significant increase in the numbers of students searching for student accommodation.

This has increase has become more significant in the first two weeks of March, with website traffic increasing 5% over last two weeks in February. This is a 50% increase over the same period in March 2020 and a huge 70% increase over March 2019.

Domestic students drive growth.

The majority of this traffic is driven by UK students. Currently 80% of the traffic to AFS is from the UK (which could include international students already in the UK) and the volume of UK based traffic is up 69% year on year.

With 20% of traffic from overseas, strong performing countries include China, India, Germany and Spain. The evidence is that there will be further growth internationally in April and beyond.

Wide range of accommodation sought.

AFS’s status as offering a wide range of student accommodation is reflected in current search trends. The most common search was for Houses (37% of searches) followed by Flats (26%). Halls and studios accounted for 25% of all searches in March so far.

This is positive news ensuring that a wide range of our partners benefit from visibility and enquiries. It is also a dramatic change from late 2020 and early 2021 when 66% of searches on AFS were for Houses.

This period (from November through the end of January) reflected the traditional house hunting season which proceeded largely unaffected in a number of cities across the UK. It was further compounded by the impact of Covid, with students changing their accommodation preferences and international students delaying decision making.

Covid impacts 46% of students impacted.

In a recent AFS study almost half of students have told us that Covid 19 has had an impact on their accommodation decisions. Of those students 45.5% told us that they had delayed making accommodation choices because of the pandemic.

This delay has affected some cities more than others and we have recently seen sharp growth in demand in cities such as Manchester, London, Bristol, Nottingham and Edinburgh.

Tap into latent demand in your city

The AFS team anticipate further growth over the coming months. 86.6% of students are now confident of a full return to campus by September, unlocking some of that delayed decision making and releasing pent up demand in a number of cities.

Now is the perfect opportunity to bring your advertising up to date and book your place on our latest webinar.

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