Banks Pull the Plug on Lending for Student HousingMake Text Bigger
The great rush for student lettings may be ending for the big corporate developers due to fears of over exposure in the market.
Property consultants EC Harris have revealed public spending cuts have drastically hit the student housing sector as universities do not have the cash to finance building more halls.
Private investors are now finding the banks cannot help – and 22 UK and European lenders have indicated they have no more funds for student developments.
The largest UK corporate developers – Unite and UPP – both changed their finance strategies recently to raise funds from shareholders or private institutions other than banks.
Barclays is negotiating the billion pound sale of their slice of UPP to a Dutch bank.
Some large projects are still in the pipeline, but they would already have secured funding.
Tenders are out on a £30 million university project in Salford, Manchester, while plans are under consideration for a £57 million development in Oxford.
Meanwhile, neighbours are protesting about the Oxford Brookes University proposal for a former builder’s yard that call for an amphitheatre, four-storey blocks of student flats and a gym at the bottom of their gardens.
Residents claim the development is too close to their homes and overshadows their two-storey terraced homes.
Other developments facing complaints include controversial plans to convert Peterborough Town Hall in to student housing – while retaining the mayor’s parlour and council chamber for ceremonial functions and meetings.
The local university is not impressed – they say they will not take up the housing as they have met student needs for some time in to the future already.
Councillors want to move public servants to a cheaper, purpose built office block to save money in the face of government spending cuts.
Cambridge students are torn over plans to convert a popular night club into 12 student apartments.
The Fez Club is a well-attended live music venue that students will miss if the plans go through, says Luke Delderfield, of Anglia Ruskin Students’ Union.
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