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Student Accommodation: Market Report

How is the student accommodation sector faring this year following the course fee increases imposed by the government in autumn 2012 - Richard Bowser talks with student landlords and agents in Reading and Nottingham.

Just over a year ago we commented here about the likely uptake for university places last autumn following on from concerns being raised in the wider national media that the course fee increases to a maximum of £9,000 a year charged by many universities could see an oversupply of student accommodation relative to demand.

Our analysis a year ago underlined that landlords would have a much greater investment risk in some regional locations where local universities had a weaker academic reputation and with a pre-dominance of arts and humanities courses.

We also pointed out that a significant number of students who were in their first year of study in autumn 2012 would be staying in student halls and so it would not be until autumn 2013 that a clearer trend might emerge as many paying the increased fees would move out of halls into the traditional shared student housing sector to rent rooms from private landlords.

Another trend affecting student let supply which we have reported on a number of occasions is of the increasing use of Article 4 planning policy restrictions to curtail the growth of shared accommodation in locations where local residents had previously been objecting to the trend of 'studentification'.

In this article we look at the impact of the fee increases in Reading, Berkshire and Nottingham and talk with some experienced local landlords and student letting agents to see if the sector has seen any appreciable fall in demand or of any signs of an oversupply of accommodation.

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