Glasgow is home to a popular university and one of the most under supplied student housing markets in the UK. In September 2013, Glasgow was named the UK’s best city for student buy-to-let investments, with returns of almost 5% annually.
The high demand for student properties in Glasgow stems from the popularity of the city’s ancient university. The fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world, the University of Glasgow regularly finds a place in the top 100 world universities and top 10 UK institutions. In less ancient times, Glasgow has also become home to two more popular universities: Glasgow Caledonian University and the University of Strathclyde.
The presence of three popular higher educational institutions, one ancient and prestigious, combined with the lack of tuition fees in Scotland, attract students from across the UK and around the world to study in Glasgow. Altogether, the city is home to more than 61,500 students, and after their first year most of these need to seek private housing. Current supply is woefully inadequate to keep up with demand. This means that student properties in good locations close to the university have little trouble being filled each year, and command excellent prices which translate into annual returns of 4.95% on average before tax.
Glasgow is also home to a number of purpose-built student property developments. These are large developments built in prime locations for the express purpose of housing students. These dedicated student developments are essentially similar to a university’s own halls of residence, but privately-run and offering premium living standards. They are an increasingly popular option, particularly for international students who often willingly pay more for higher-standard, better-located properties.
Glasgow is a particular hotspot for international study with more than 10,000 students coming to the city from overseas. This fuels a thriving market for purpose-built student accommodation complexes, which are attracting much attention from investors. They offer a relatively low-cost entry into Glasgow’s lucrative student property market, with excellent returns as high as 9% net which are guaranteed for an initial period. As Glasgow has an acute shortage of high quality student accommodation, the launch of Clyde House is a timely solution to the shortfall in available student beds. Perfectly positioned, the development offers a wide selection of units and is situated close to the University of Strathclyde.
A few months after being named the top UK city for student property investors, in January 2014 Glasgow was also named as a hotspot for postgraduate study. Postgraduate study has been thriving in recent years due to high competition in the job market. Aside from a dip after the high-profile increase in tuition fees, more and more people have been going to university and attaining degrees. The need for graduates to stand out is now leading more and more people to follow their first degree with postgraduate study, which adds further fuel to the student property market.
Postgraduate study is also a major draw for international students. Around 50% of the UK’s current postgraduate students have come from overseas to study in the UK. This means that premium student accommodation options, for which international students are a key market, stand to benefit from the increasing popularity of postgraduate study as well. In a postgraduate hotspot city such as Glasgow and with the government actively soliciting more international students for the UK, these markets look set for secure growth in the future.