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As new figures reveal the poor standard of student property currently available in Cardiff, should more high-quality purpose-built student accommodation be prioritised in a city with a rising number of international students?
This is why high-quality purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) is one of the strongest property investments in Cardiff right now.
New figures from Cardiff Council, published by BBC News, highlight the poor quality of current student housing supply in the city.
80 homes of multiple occupancy (HMOs) – traditional residential properties that have been converted to accommodate students – in the city fall below licensing standards.
Prevalent in 67 instances, fire risks were the most common issue, followed by 44 instances of damp and mould. In 35 cases, the homes were also deemed to be vulnerable to entry by intruders, raising wider safety concerns for some students.
Cardiff Council inspect the city’s HMOs once every five years. Over the past five years, there have been 54 prosecutions against HMO landlords in Cardiff for providing homes to students which fall below licensing standards.
Local councillor Norma Mackie, who represents the Cathays district of the city which has a high proportion of HMOs, says that, at present, students in Cardiff are “paying good money” for properties in a “poor condition”.
She added: “There are some very good landlords but, unfortunately, there are sometimes very poor landlords.”
Cardiff is home to three universities and 43,000 students, including over 9,000 international students. Between 2010/11 and 2015/16, there was a 137% increase in propensity for students to live in PBSA. In comparison, there was a just 4% increase in students actively wanting to live in HMOs during this time.
However, the demand for PBSA in Cardiff is meeting a huge undersupply. There are 2.5 students in the city for every one available PBSA apartment. This means over 25,000 students in Cardiff cannot access the accommodation they want and, instead, are forced to enter the HMO market.
More PBSA properties, close to Cardiff city centre and Cardiff University, will not only command huge demand for an underserved student tenant market, but also alleviate the pressure on a HMO sector that is continually looking unfit for purpose in Cardiff.
Don’t miss your opportunity to invest in Cardiff’s high performing PBSA market. Vita Student Cardiff, the 20th project from the UK’s leading PBSA provider, is now available with just a 20% down payment and the balance payable on completion in Q3 2021. 6.5% NET yields assured for three years and fully managed. Find out more here.
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