University Market Briefing (Leeds Briefing, July 2015)

 28th June 2016

In the past 5 years the number of students in higher education has steadily dropped from 25,000 to almost 23,000. The most dramatic drop being among undergraduate students. Despite this statistic, it has been revealed that as of May 2015 there were 647,610 applicants for courses starting in September 2015. This is higher than the previous peak in 2011, a year which saw 643 thousand applications.

Students in HE, UK 2010/ 2011 – 2013/14 (HESA)

There is a general trend that Universities in the UK are accepting more student's year on year. In 2011 there were 492,030 UCAS annual acceptances compared to 512,370 acceptances in 2014. Furthermore there has been a rise in applications from overseas students particularly from EU countries.

Leeds Market review

Over the past five years Leeds University have generally had a higher UCAS annual intake of students, peaking in 2011 at 8085. Both Universities saw a dip in the number of students they accepted in 2012 and as of 2015 the average number of students attending Universities in Leeds is around 7000. Between 2010/11 and 2013/14 the total number of students in Leeds is down 6%, this could be the result of an increase in tuition fees. Despite this it is predicted that there will be a slight recovery in the coming years.

Demand for Student Accommodation

At Leeds Beckett University 70% of students have a residential requirement and the number of students living in accommodation is 4, 718. Leeds Beckett University now have a new deal with Unite to house students in rooms at the Plaza and Concept place.

In contrast to Leeds Beckett, students at the University of Leeds have a higher residential requirement with 8, 201 students living in student accommodation in 2014/15. Over the next five years Leeds Trinity University is planning to expand its student population from the current 3,500 students to 4,500 students; a trend which is becoming apparent across universities in general.

The number of beds let from January 2015 to 30th June 2015 was up 12% on 2014 figures.

Summary of main trends

It appears there has been a return to normality to a degree as 2014-15 intakes of students saw a return to pre 2012-13 intakes. In line with this tend there is a continued growth of purpose build accommodation. Furthermore, there has been increased activity in selling between landlords often involving refurbishment of properties.

In regards to geographical patterns it is evident that Hyde Park is still a very popular area to live in. City centre student living is not growing at a sufficient rate as there are still around 5000 students living in unintentional housing supply. Finally it is clear that cultural factors are having an impact on preferences tenants look for, such as good internet connection and locks on individual doors.

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