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A property investor’s guide to student accommodation in Loughborough

Loughborough student property investment guide
Feb 11, 2015

This guide outlines to potential investors the opportunities that exist in the student property sector in Loughborough.

In it, you will discover the economic drivers behind Loughborough’s growth as a key town and a seat of student learning, and learn why Loughborough is attracting a larger number of students than many other cities, including those from overseas.

 

Contents

Click on any of the above links to jump to a specific category or scroll down to browse through the entire guide:

 

An overview of Loughborough

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Loughborough is a thriving market-town, which traces its beginnings back to its formation as a Saxon settlement in the early 1200s. Its population of 57,600 makes it the largest town in Leicestershire. The nationally famous market is open for business every Tuesday and Saturday. Loughborough also welcomes several speciality European markets to its streets for short periods throughout the year.

Loughborough is home to a number of major national employers, including several large pharmaceutical and specialist engineering companies, which have received national recognition for their importance to the energy and environmental sectors. These include Caterpillar, Rolls-Royce, Toyota, 3M Healthcare and Dunlop Aerospace (Meggitt).

 

What makes Loughborough a good property investment location

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Loughborough is attractive to investors for reasons that include;

  • Its top-ranking, internationally renowned university – with a 17,000 strong student population
  • Loughborough’s popularity with international students
  • Its modern, fast rail service to London, as well as to Derby, Nottingham, Sheffield and Leeds
  • Loughborough is a ten-minute train journey from Leicester – the East Midlands’ largest economic centre valued at £19 billion
  • London Heathrow International Airport is easily accessible via a free coach service
  • Loughborough’s redevelopment programme will stimulate future economic growth. This will include a £5 million railway station development initiative and a further £8 million by the LLEP – a cash injection that will create a 1,200 new jobs locally
  • It has a significantly lower cost of living than larger UK cities

 

Loughborough University

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The single most important contributor to Loughborough’s economy is the University of Loughborough, which contributes in excess of £800 million per annum to the overall economy of the region. It has won the following awards:

  • Voted England’s Best Student Experience for six years running – Times Higher Education
  • Ranked 14th in the UK in the 2014 Guardian and Complete University Guides
  • Awarded ‘Best International Experience’, National Union of Students Internationalisation Awards 2011
  • Voted Top UK University for ‘Student Support Services’, ‘Academic Learning Experience’ and ‘Extra-Curricular University Experience’ – Student Barometer survey 2013
  • Extremely high ratings for research and teaching
  • The largest single-site green campus in the UK with outstanding facilities

Highly acclaimed medical research

Loughborough University is considered to be a fantastic institution and is internationally acclaimed in the research arena. The university recently announced it would collaborate with the Cell Therapy Catapult, which focuses on the development of cell therapy. The two establishments will be working together on innovative new manufacturing techniques.

The University’s CBE (Centre for Biological Engineering) is a world-renowned research centre that helps to bridge the fields of both engineering and biology. It will serve to strengthen and enhance the current knowledge and manufacturing effectiveness of the Cell Therapy Catapult.

In addition to being recognised in the field of manufacturing and quality controlling cells and tissues, the CBE also hosts the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Centre. This is associated with innovative manufacturing regenerative medicine and is also the training centre for doctors in the field of regenerative medicine.

Loughborough University’s National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine was recently named by the International Olympic Committee a Research Centre for Prevention of Injury and Protection of Athlete Health, joining an international network of just 9 prestigious institutions.

For its contribution to the field of medical research, Loughborough University has been awarded six Queen’s Anniversary Prizes. The University is also a key member of the 1994 group of 11 leading research-focused universities – a group which was established back in 1994 to enhance excellence in terms of university research and teaching.

Loughborough’s sporting prowess

With more than 50 student-led active sports clubs, Loughborough University is a keenly sought after seat of learning for students who have sporting aspirations. With over 4000 members currently, Loughborough’s sporting prowess has seen the university retain the British Universities and College Sport Competition Championship for more than 30 consecutive years. At the 2014 Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow, Loughborough University fielded over 120 athletes who represented 8 teams across 10 different sports.

Voted best student experience

In the year 2008/2009, the University won the highly coveted Sunday Times University of the Year award. It has since then been consistently ranked as a top 20 UK university. In 2011, the National Student Survey voted it one of the top universities in the UK. Loughborough has topped the Times Higher Education League in the category of best student experience every year since the poll was launched in 2006.

Attraction for international students

Loughborough University’s prominent international reputation for areas that include its sporting prowess and medical research excellence has made the university a sought after venue for international students. It has a long history of welcoming international students and currently has approximately 1000 undergraduates from over 70 countries. It won the first ever Times Higher Award for the outstanding level of support given to overseas students.

 

The case for investing into UK student property

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Student property is considered a profitable asset that adds diversity and tangibility to an investment portfolio. According to Savills, a leading international real estate consultancy, student property has remained one of the top performing sectors in recent years at a time when other financial vehicles were struggling.

World class asset

Between 2007 and 2013, the global student property market has grown from $3.4bn to $7.2bn. This figure is predicted to be even higher for 2014 when the year’s figures are published. Large financial institutions have traditionally dominated this market, making up over 57% of total sales. However the private sector is increasingly entering the scene and claiming a record share of this ever-growing sector.

The global value of higher education is estimated at $164bn. This figure is set to rise by a further $32 billion over the next ten years, pulling higher education into the $200bn economy bracket. The overseas student demographic is mirroring these trends and this population will grow to 3.9m people in the near future.

Growing demand for Purpose Built Student Accommodation

Purpose built student accommodation (PBSA) offers an attractive and reliable revenue stream. Despite tenures that are generally shorter than those found in other commercial property forms they bring with them the guarantee of sustained high demand.

With all signs pointing to a high level of international student growth for the foreseeable future, the relative scarcity of new PBSAs make this an attractive investment vehicle at this time. This is all the truer at the high end of the market where the scale of demand substantially outweighing supply, both in terms of PBSAs currently operational and of those that have not yet left the drawing board.

And since the market has traditionally focused on the demand from UK national students, it has as yet failed to adequately address the potential afforded by the large number of wealthy overseas students who are drawn to the security, comfort and practicality of PBSAs.

Introducing The Foundry

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The development of Loughborough’s railway station and city centre, as well as the acclaim of Loughborough University itself, are a testimony to the town’s fertile investment. Loughborough University continues to receive acclaim for the quality of its medical research and sporting successes.

The Foundry presents students with one of the most modern and luxurious accommodation options in Loughborough. Not only are students a stone’s throw away from their faculties of study and the largest green campus in the UK, but also the town centre is just a short walk aways and they can easily commute to Leicester to take advantage of the city’s diverse shopping and nightlife.

This investment represents a great opportunity for investors to purchase a student unit that will undoubtedly remain in high demand for years to come – from both national and international students alike.

Students today expect the quality of their accommodation to match the increased cost of studying. Students are equipped with sufficient funds to be able to realistically demand a much higher standard of living than in the past. Emerging Property is well-positioned to take advantage of this demand, and to help investors to capitalise on this market through in-depth industry analysis and a proven track record.

 

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