High levels of satisfaction
The second yearly report by the property consultancy firm Knight Frank has found some promising statistics regarding the purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) sector. The survey questioned over 60,000 young people, and overall reported high levels of satisfaction.
The survey showed a very positive response from the majority of those living in PBSA. Overall, 78% of the 60,000 students surveyed said they were satisfied with their accommodation choice. Newcastle’s rating was extremely high, with 83% saying they were either ‘happy’ or ‘extremely’ happy with their accommodation. In Cardiff, 89% of students said they were satisfied with their accommodation. Overall, 80% of students living in PBSA said that their location was ‘good’ or ‘excellent.’
The number one issue raised by the participants was of affordability. Development statistics suggest the industry has shifted its focus to delivering more affordable accommodation, but as the market evolves, investors, developers and operators must continue to deliver accommodation that is best suited to the needs of students.
An easy way for students to cut down on costs is to avoid accommodation that includes hidden fees, as this is a common way for people to go over budget. At Collegiate, our accommodation is all-inclusive, with no extra services to pay for.
Wellness and support
Another key issue highlighted by students as important is the wellness and support offered by the accommodation to support students. 76% of respondents said that this was either ‘important’, or ‘very important’ to them. The report stressed that due to this, mental health services and a good quality of communal services now ‘must be an essential feature of all PBSA.’
At Collegiate, we are invested in the mental health of our residents, with our accommodation designed to enable socialising as a priority. Studies, such as the one published last November by the Higher Education Policy Institute, have shown that the isolating effects of ‘cellular’ rooms are detrimental to the mindsets of students. As most student accommodation is designed this way, it is very concerning that not enough is being done for students who may be experiencing their first time living independently, and may not be able to cope effectively. We emphasise the importance of community spirit in our accommodation by implementing areas that allow socialising, such as lounges, gyms, cinema rooms and games rooms.
A home from home
The report also found that, due to the nature of PBSA, the most common occupiers of the residences were international students. These students are the most likely to want to continue living in their accommodation for more than one year, with 43% saying that the option to stay in the same accommodation for more than one year was ‘extremely important’ or ‘very important’ when deciding where to live.
At Collegiate, we like to value students that stay with us for more than a year by offering them preferred rates and the week between tenancy for free.
Overall, the report provided important insights into the concerns, opinions and habits of those staying in purpose-built student accommodation. At Collegiate, we take the issues faced by the students in our student accommodation seriously, and do our best to tailor the potentially scary experience of living away from home to provide the best possible experience.