As demand swells for student homes in the summer months, 2016 has presented a better opportunity to put money into the sector than ever before.
Student property has been a popular asset class now for some time. Rising from the lower end of the scale and shaking off its reputation as a niche asset for investors, student housing has managed to become one of the best ways to make returns for savvy buyers across the country. And as the £5.3 billion spent in the sector last year will attest to, the strength of student accommodation has made it more popular than ever.
This could even see an increase in 2016, with the busier student months about to see demand rise over the summer when exams end and people bound for university start to think about where they will live for the next year.
On top of this, a trend towards cheaper investments from landlords hit by the Stamp Duty levy - figures from Countrywide suggest an 8.3 per cent drop in value of rental investments in April - could mean more people looking towards student property as a way to get onto the property ladder without spending too much initially.
But for those who are looking to get themselves a slice of the student property investment
pie at what is the best time of the year to be a part of the sector, one of the most important factors is choosing the right location. Busy student towns and cities will provide you with the best levels of incoming demand, helping provide higher returns in the long run. So just where are the best places to invest?North
The north has generally become more popular with investors in recent years, largely because of the growth of a previously unseen creative media market, which has seen swelling demand from young professionals. But when it comes to the student sector, the north has always been a particularly strong point for England, with a number of top performing universities and a high volume of students helping foster a culture of demand for rental properties.
Institutions such as the University of Manchester, Liverpool John Moore's, Leeds University and the University of Sheffield all help to attract foreign students to the north of the country, which can increase the demand landlords will see, especially for higher end properties in this area of England.
On top of this, Sheffield Hallam, Leeds Beckett, Manchester Metropolitan and others all come together to offer a staggering number of places for students, and they react with high applicant numbers and swelling demand for properties year after year, particularly in Manchester, which has the highest student population in the whole of Europe.Midlands
In the Midlands, the main place for investment at the moment is Birmingham. The city as a whole is being rebranded as part of the Big City Plan, with the centre going through regeneration works that are helping it to be seen as a place young people would want to live, study and work.
This means there's never been a better time to invest in property here, especially student property. Lower prices during a time of regeneration are perfect for those looking to make strong returns, as they offer the chance to buy in at a time when prices are low but promise to go much higher when the work taking place is completed. And with as many as 65,000 students in the second city, there's real demand to be had for city centre properties that can be bought at entry level prices that don't break the bank.South
When we think of the south, we think of London, but when it comes to student property, it can really pay off to look elsewhere for relatively low prices with a promise of strong returns backed by increasing demand. One such area is Brighton.
As well as having two of its own universities, the University of Brighton and the University of Sussex, Brighton has become more popular in recent times with students from other cities. Capital-based students, fed up of the prices they face in London, are increasingly turning towards the beach-front locations that Brighton has to offer, helping to swell demand through commuter renting.
Another town that could be a real secret hotspot for investors for a similar reason is Luton. The town has been, much like Birmingham, going through real transitions and upgrades in recent times, and still is. This has helped it push on and in recent times it has been increasingly popular with commuters working in London. With the right marketing, the same could be said for students, with Luton offering a real alternative for those looking to study in the capital and live elsewhere.This article has been provided by Experience Invest a leading UK student property investment specialist.