The UK's biggest student accommodation provider is predicting that its
buildings will be full when the new academic year starts.
, which has 177 student properties in 27 cities and towns with 74,000 beds,
is making the prediction.
The business has revealed that its portfolio occupancy is at 88% but when
the 2021-2022 academic year begins, it will rise to between 95% and 98%.
The accommodation provider is also pointing to a Government target to
increase the number of international students by 80,000 by 2030 that will
benefit the sector.
This ambitious aim will be helped with a new two-year post-study visa.
And Unite says that the UK is the world's second most popular destination
for international students and that demand will return.
Dip in demand from European Union students
That's despite a predicted dip in demand from European Union students as
their course fees will increase after Brexit.
The firm's chief executive, Richard Smith, said he believes that demand
will be strong for student properties, including purpose-built student
accommodation, even though remote learning is still in place.
He added that students have recognised that going to university was not
just about their studies but also enjoying a 'life experience'.
Unite has just published its results for the year to reveal a £120 million
loss and they are also predicting rental growth this year.
The managing director of Accommodation for Students, Simon
Thompson, said: "It is good news hearing that a major student accommodation
provider is predicting nearly full capacity for their schemes.
"This means that all student landlords can look forward to the new academic
year with some confidence, particularly with growing demand and rising
Most students remained in their accommodation
Meanwhile, it has been revealed that 85% of students appear to have
remained in their student accommodation during the pandemic lockdown.
The news comes from the Office for National Statistics
which has carried out a survey of 2,800 students and found that most are
living at the same address they were in last September.
The findings contradict a survey carried out by the NUS
that found that 30% of students are living at home, compared with 25%
In a separate report, the Residential Landlords' Association (NRLA) found that 19%
of students have vacated their property during the lockdown and that 20%
had requested a rent reduction - with 60% of student landlords agreeing to