Student housing may take hit as overseas students fall
Student accommodation has been a booming sector
Investment into student accommodation could take a hit from the impact of the coronavirus, according to legal and property experts.
As uncertainty surrounds the format of new courses – with an increasing number of students being taught online – there are concerns that providers of accommodation may pause developments if demand drops.
Competition is likely to increase among universities for a smaller number of international students. Trade sources say most locations may see a 10% to 30% drop in occupancy numbers for 2020/21, while some universities are planning for a worst-case scenario that could involve losing up to 75% of their overseas students.
A new Scottish bill enhancing the rights of students over housing agreements is the latest potential impact on the sector.
The Coronavirus (Scotland) bill introduces notice to leave periods through which students can quit purpose-built student accommodation for Covid-related reasons.