The student Bubble inflating or about to burst?Make Text Bigger
I have lived in and bought a few buy to let investment areas in central Coventry. I have lived here for over 30 years and in the last ten years there has been an increasing and seemingly endless demand for student accommodation.
Many private investors have bought houses in areas close to the university in order to take advantage of the demand. As I also live in this area I am familiar with what is happening. The houses that were previously occupied by families come up for sale and are snapped up for student lets.
I have just sold my own home which would be great for a family – three good bedrooms, living room, dining room and kitchen, gardens front and rear and in a quite little enclave with no passing traffic. Of the 20 people who came to view not one of them was a family looking for a home, they where all investors.
Coventry University itself are also buying up swathes of land in the area to build their own student accommodation. They recently bought a huge Royal Mail sorting office which was redundant. Demolished it and are now building more student accommodation. A cluster of garages near to my home has just been bought by a private investor and planning is being applied for for 48 student rooms ! It goes on and on.
My question, is the bubble going to burst ? Coventry uni is doing well as it has won the ‘Modern university of the year’ for the last three years in succession, and as such is attracting more and more students, many of which are overseas. So there has been year after year of increasing student numbers.
I have decided to sell a 5 bedroom student house I own because I think that this cannot carry on, and I would rather get out before the bubble bursts. It will eventually happen, of that I have no doubt. It’s just a matter of when.
I do not want find myself struggling to get tenants in the rooms, which will eventually result in a decrease in the value of the properties as investors will pull out. Houses are still at present, achieving premium prices. I had my home valued by a few agents and the highest was 155k. I sold it for £181 k.
I wonder if any other investors with student properties in their portfolios have similar opinions – or otherwise ?
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