91% of International Students Love the UK Best!

A recent study from Universities UK International has shown that 91% of students loved their UK university experience.

A highly impressive 91% of international students are satisfied with their UK university experience according to research from Universities UK International.

The findings are based on the feedback of 137,000 students from five other competitor nations – the USA, Canada, Australia, Germany and the Netherlands – placing the UK at number one in the rankings.

For property investors, these results confirm how student accommodation remains a relatively safe bet. Due to the esteemed reputation of British educational institutions, as well as these positive surveys, foreign student numbers will always be high.

The UK’s Competitive Advantage 2017

91% of International Students Love the UK Best! Aspen Woolf

Universities UK International (UUKi) regularly carry out studies on a wide range of university issues. They use data from the International Student Barometer which collects information from over 3 million students across the world.

This year’s report – titled the UK’s Competitive Advantage – highlights various factors that measure student experience. These include: arrival and orientation, learning environment, living standards and support services. The UK ranked highest across these four areas, an impressive feat and clear indication as to why so many foreign students come here every year.

As a result, 86% of international undergraduates are very likely to recommend their current place of study, a figure higher than the other five nations in the survey.

Students also take university league tables into account. The latest Times Higher Education World University rankings shows the UK has the most places in the European top 10.

Property Advantage

91% of International Students Love the UK Best! Aspen Woolf

Student property investment has soared in the past decade, with Savills’ expecting another £5 billion injection over the next academic year. This is mainly being ploughed into purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) – a robust asset class that has experienced unparalleled growth.

This can be put down to a shift in student attitudes, especially in relation to international students. They prefer the private yet communal nature of PBSA, combined with a whole host of modern amenities and high-speed broadband connection.

Parents also appreciate the secure nature of private apartments as opposed to residential homes with multiple occupants (HMO’s). PBSA flats have three layers of security, making it extremely hard for intruders to break into the building, let alone an individual flat.

In addition, the EU Referendum result has created a devalued currency, something foreign students have been quick to take advantage of. An undervalued pound means lower tuition fees and living costs, thus making our PBSA flats more affordable.

Investment Opportunity

91% of International Students Love the UK Best! Aspen Woolf

The UK’s competitive advantage is dependent on the reputation and high quality of its universities. As the UUKi study shows, this is reflected with an extremely impressive foreign student satisfaction rate, placing the UK ahead of comparable nations.

A thriving social scene in notable university cities such as London, Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds also plays its part, as well as a rich sporting and musical heritage that foreign students appreciate.

In turn, property investors can be assured their investment will always generate interest, especially as international students tend to choose purpose-built student accommodation. For more information on student investment at Aspen Woolf, please get in touch today.

You can take a look at our current PBSA investment opportunities here.

UK Scoops Most Places in European University Top 10

These university rankings echo the strong performance of UK student property as a whole, particularly the PBSA market.

The latest Higher Education World University rankings by the Times shows the UK has the most universities in the European top 10, as highlighted below:

Higher Education World University Rankings 2016-2017
European Rankings

Ranking University Country
1 University of Oxford United Kingdom
2 University of Cambridge United Kingdom
3 Imperial College London United Kingdom
4 Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich Switzerland
5 University College London United Kingdom
6 London School of Economics and Political Science United Kingdom
7 University of Edinburgh United Kingdom
8 Karolinska Institute Sweden
9 École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne Switzerland
10 LMU Munich Germany


The Times compiled the top 980 universities in its latest 2016-17 list, basing its report on “13 carefully calibrated performance indicators to provide the most comprehensive and balanced comparisons available”. The rankings are universally recognised by students, academics and governments, as well as being independently audited.

UK Scoops Most Places in European University Top 10 Aspen Woolf

Image credit: University of Exeter via Flickr

Student Numbers

If you’re interested in the student property market, these results should solidify your confidence in the sector. High-performing universities with a prestigious history and famous alumni will always attract students from the UK and abroad.

UCAS recently reported that around 493,000 students have been placed on courses in the current 2016/17 academic year – a record high. The enrolment of 18-year-olds in particular has stayed resilient, showing that increased fees hasn’t put off youngsters from a university education.

Despite Brexit and perceived fears of a drop in EU applicants, it should be made clear that more non-EU students still come to the UK than Europeans. In essence, numbers won’t be affected too greatly, especially as access to the Erasmus exchange programme will almost certainly continue.

Property Impact

UK Scoops Most Places in European University Top 10 Aspen Woolf

Image credit: Vita Student via Flickr

An overfill of students who can’t find places in these top institutions will spill over into the UK’s other notable university cities, such as Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Plymouth.

Aspen Woolf has student buy-to-let properties in these areas, guaranteeing healthy yields of 7-10% over a sustained period.

Likewise, we’ve also recognised the strong performance of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA), which is being favoured by undergrads, postgrads and international students alike. This is opposed to university halls of residence or a HMO (house with multiple occupiers) which are sometimes run-down, poorly maintained, and generally tend to be more inconvenient.

Studies show that the PBSA market has grown every year from 2007. This is in terms of investment as well as number of tenants. As student applications stay strong, the sector is less likely to be affected by wider economic affairs, making it a robust asset class.

Investment Opportunity

UK Scoops Most Places in European University Top 10 Aspen Woolf

Image credit: NEC Corporation of America via Flickr

The impressive European university rankings echo the strong performance of UK student property as a whole, particularly the PBSA market.

Students are now expecting a higher standard of living with en-suites, double beds and high-speed broadband connection. Our investment opportunities satisfy these demands thoroughly.

For investors, finding one of these particular properties puts you onto a winner, especially if located near to a university campus or transport links. Furthermore, when using Aspen Woolf, we’ll always have a management company in place for you and your investment so everything is taken care of on your behalf.

For more information, check out our student accommodation investment opportunities or get in touch.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the student accommodation market, you might enjoy Student Accommodation is the Ideal Investment in the Current Economy.

Student Accommodation is the Ideal Investment in the Current Economy

The UK student population is 2 million and they need somewhere to live.

With the UK set for political and economic uncertainty over the next few years, some commentators have predicted a period of stagnation for the property sector.

Although this remains to be seen and the market has held up well so far, one area that won’t be affected is student accommodation. This is because student investment is countercyclical in nature and less likely to be affected by the overall economy.

Students will always need somewhere to live, and if you can find a property in a favourable location, demand will hold up year-on-year. At Aspen Woolf, we offer a number of student properties for this exact reason.

Outstanding Performance

Student Accommodation is the Ideal Investment in the Current Economy Aspen Woolf

Throughout the current decade, student accommodation has outperformed traditional assets in the property sector. Although recent external pressures on buy-to-let may partially explain this, the main reason is due to the strong demand for purpose-built flats in prime student areas.

Traditionally, first year students have had to rely on university-sponsored halls when they enrol – these are usually older buildings with limited space and basic amenities. Now, it seems undergraduates prefer modernised, purpose-built flats when given the option.

A recent report by Knight Frank backed this up. It showed students are prepared to pay increased rents if the facilities impress them, and so with many new developments containing gyms, games rooms and individual car parking, finding tenants should be of little worry.

Student Accommodation is the Ideal Investment in the Current Economy Aspen Woolf

Even though many are being constructed in areas close to campus buildings, transport links and shops, there’s still a significant structural undersupply. It is here that individual investors can take advantage.

Yields are consistently high, helped by low-entry prices onto the market, with impressive occupancy rates. This isn’t a recent trend either, it has remained a resilient investment sector for many years now with no indication of slowing down.

In addition, rents are usually guaranteed by a parent and paid upfront. For investors, this provides great peace of mind knowing you’re assured both demand and rental income at the start of each term.

Positive Forecasts

Student Accommodation is the Ideal Investment in the Current Economy Aspen Woolf

Although the UK student population is roughly 2 million, there’s only enough private-sector accommodation to house a quarter of them. And despite increased university fees, applications don’t seem to be slowing down. It seems the student sector will remain a robust asset class for many years to come.

These positive forecasts are being recognised by wealthy foreign investors. Over 70% of new purchases are from private equity and high net-worth overseas buyers. Even if you can’t compete with this financial clout, as a private investor it pays to recognise their buying behaviour.

According to Knight Frank, the purpose-built student market is estimated to be worth around £46 billion, with a further £5 billion to be added in new developments this year. This shows that, despite the economic uncertainty around at the moment, one sector unaffected is student property.

At Aspen Woolf, we’ve recognised this trend and have sourced various student flats from hotspots across the UK. We’ll have management companies in place for the investment on your behalf, meaning all you need do is sit back and enjoy your assured rental yields of between 6-10%.


Take a look at our current student property investment offers today.

If you’re interested in investing in student accommodation, you may want to take a look at the Five Best Student Towns to Invest In.

Student Accommodation Sector Benefits from Soaring Foreign Investment

UK Student Accommodation Sector Benefits from Soaring Foreign Investment

Research by estate agent Savills shows that investment in purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) has increased by 17% to over £5 billion this year. Confidence in the market remains high and any perceived fear over last year’s Referendum haven’t come to fruition.

Much of this recent investment is because of international backers who’ve increased their market share to 64% from just a third in 2015.

This in turn has helped the market grow significantly over the past two decades, with yields remaining stable throughout. In addition, rent increases of 3% per annum since 2014 surpassed all other real estate asset sectors, with potential for even more growth in the future.

Overall, the amount of private student accommodation remains well below student numbers in key UK university cities – something we’ve recognised at Aspen Woolf with a range of carefully selected student property at our disposal.

International Appeal

Interest from abroad has been the primary cause of large-scale investment in the PBSA market, with Asian financiers particularly active. For example, a massive £1.2bn came from two of Singapore’s leading real estate developers last year, fending off stiff competition from the US, Middle East and Russia.

This echoes what is happening throughout the sector as rival bidders often vouch for the same investment portfolio. Unsuccessful bidders retain a strong appetite to invest here however, and are expected to make more acquisitions throughout the 2017/18 academic year.

The student sector in the UK has remained a reliable asset class for many years now. Being ‘countercyclical’ in nature, it’s less likely to suffer from volatile markets or currency fluctuations. Shrewd international buyers therefore recognise it as a dependable hedge against other investments.

Student Accommodation Sector Benefits from Soaring Foreign Investment Aspen Woolf

Image credit: Duncan Hull via Flickr


The EU referendum result didn’t do much to put off foreign investment, mainly because the supply and demand of student property will always hold up. UK universities are some of the most highly regarded learning institutions in the world after all, and keep attracting students from home and abroad every year.

The value of trade also backs this up. Since the Brexit result, more student real estate was purchased in the six months after June  23rd (£2.1bn) than in the six months before (£1.9bn).

Student Accommodation Sector Benefits from Soaring Foreign Investment Aspen Woolf

Image credit: Char via Flickr

Why the UK?

The student sector is ripe for investment for two main reasons – a constant volume of demand and a severe shortfall of suitable accommodation.

This is specifically related to purpose-built flats which students now tend to prefer, primarily as they offer a much more modern standard of living. Private student en-suite studios within communal buildings come with all-inclusive bills, high-speed internet and on-site facilities such as free parking, laundry rooms and even gyms or cinema rooms in some cases.

Conversely, traditional house sharing arrangements can leave students stuck in run-down, unsecured properties with untrustworthy landlords. By investing with Aspen Woolf, everything is managed so the tenant has far less to worry about in this respect.

For prospective investors, remember that undersupply in the sector will virtually guarantee enquiries, especially in prime areas near to a campus or transport links. University halls aren’t often upgraded to the modern standards of PBSA, meaning any new developments are snapped up quickly, especially by foreign students and postgraduates.


If you’re interested in investing in purpose-built student accommodation, get in touch today to see how we can help.

If you would like more information on investing in student accommodation, you might be interested in discovering why Student Properties Are a Safe Bet for 2017.

Student Properties Are a Safe Bet For 2017

Using a letting management agent means you don't have to deal with overwhelming demand from students.

Student accommodation blocks are now common sights in university towns and cities across the country. They’ve signified a move away from the traditional, tenement-type student digs, offering a sleek and secure way of living favoured by modern students.

Shrewd investors have been quick to spot their potential in recent years. They provide an attractive and often low-cost route onto the property ladder, with guaranteed enquiries year on year. Students will always need somewhere to live, particularly in areas close to their campus or local amenities.

In 2017, this demand will only grow as student numbers rise. Over 408,000 are currently on undergraduate courses, complemented by over 90,000 postgrads – an increase of 22 per cent from last year.


Purpose-Built Student Accommodation

Student Properties Are a Safe Bet For 2017 Aspen Woolf

Image credit: Elliott Brown via Flickr

The number of students living in private sector purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) has increased sharply in recent years, making it one of the only property subdivisions to deliver positive rental growth every year since 2007.

Undergrads are increasingly looking towards more luxury accommodation in the modern era, preferring en-suite bedrooms, spacious common rooms and exclusive high speed Wi-Fi connection. Some developments even include games rooms and multi-gym facilities.

The market alone comprises assets worth over £40 billion, with the potential to rise even further over the next decade or so. Average rents have also risen in this time, generating around £150 per week.


Managed Lets

Student Properties Are a Safe Bet For 2017 Aspen Woolf

Image credit: Francisco Osorio via Flickr

By placing the purchase in the hands of a professional lettings agent, all the usual hard work and hassle of managing the property is taken care of. For the student sector in particular, this knowhow is especially valuable as the turnover of tenants is relatively high.

For example, as a private investor, you may not be able to deal with a flood of enquiries towards the start of term time. Aspen Woolf will take care of this on your behalf, answering questions from prospective tenants and vetting them in the correct manner.

Students also trust this approach more, knowing they won’t be left stranded with an unreliable or uncontactable landlord if something goes wrong. Any maintenance issues will be dealt with by us, along with regular inspections and inventory stock-takes.



Student Properties Are a Safe Bet For 2017 Aspen Woolf

Image credit: Vita Student via Flickr

At Aspen Woolf, we only offer properties from the UK’s student hotspot’s such as Manchester, Huddersfield, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Plymouth. This assures your investment won’t be wasted as tenant demand is guaranteed every year.

We also look for universities with a high percentage of international students. This is because they’re often drawn to the PBSA due to its secure and more luxurious nature. Liverpool and Edinburgh Universities, for example, boast around a 30 per cent foreign student intake.

Student property remains a safe bet in 2017, especially purpose-built student accommodation managed by a professional estate agent. You’re getting a hassle-free and relatively low-risk way onto the property ladder, with typical yields of 7% – 10% with no signs of slowing down.

You can take a look at our student accommodation opportunities here.

If you’d like to talk through potential investments or have any questions, get in touch.

Student Property Demand Rises in Liverpool

Purpose built student accommodation is becoming more and more popular.

With around 70,000 students in Liverpool during term time, it’s no surprise that demand for accommodation is high. And with the number of undergraduate placements rising from the 2015/16 academic year, there’s still need for high-quality housing within the city.

For investors, this means numerous opportunities are available in the thriving buy-to-let sector, especially for purpose-built student accommodation.

Increasing Numbers

Student Property Demand Rises in Liverpool Aspen Woolf

Image credit: Vita Student via Flickr


The University of Liverpool, John Moores University and Liverpool Hope University comprise around 60,000 students alone, an increase of around 10,000 from last year.

As well as the three main universities, there’s also the Institute for Performing Arts, School of Tropical Medicine and numerous other colleges within the city – pushing the total number of students up even further.

Research by the Mistoria Group shows that these figures have caused a 37% growth in demand for shared student accommodation within a three mile radius of the city centre.

Why Liverpool?

Student Property Demand Rises in Liverpool Aspen Woolf

Image credit: 7426_0594 via Flickr

Developers have been quick to recognise the rise in student numbers and short supply of bespoke housing in Liverpool. With demand for high-quality accommodation growing, a number of uber-modern student developments, such as the luxurious Fox Street Village and Queensland Place, have sprung up in recent years.

With a rich cultural and sporting heritage, combined with a diverse nightlife and affordable housing, Liverpool in itself will always attract high student numbers. With its higher education institutes offering a vast array of courses, there’s no sign of the trend slowing down.

As another bonus, an increasing number of students are remaining in Liverpool once they’ve graduated. This flow of young professionals boosts the rental sector even further, especially as renters with a career-driven mindset make for high-quality tenants.

Increased government investment in the ‘northern powerhouse’ is coinciding with massive regeneration schemes in Liverpool itself. As we move further into 2017, 250 major new schemes worth £10.5 billion are seeking planning approval or at early stages of project development.

Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA)

Student Property Demand Rises in Liverpool Aspen Woolf

Image credit: NEC Corporation of America via Flickr

The 560,000 rooms that make up the UK’s PBSA market are estimated to be worth £46 billion in total. This is being helped as both students and universities move away from traditional halls of residence style accommodation.

Purpose-built halls cater to the demands of modern-day students, with private bathrooms, large common rooms, strong Wi-Fi connections and even gyms in some cases. They’re especially appealing to wealthier foreign students whose parents like the idea of a secured building in close proximity to the campus.

Purpose-built halls will often be managed by a letting agency. This is a recommended route into the student sector for investors. Everything is controlled on your behalf, from dealing with student enquiries to collecting payments. Rental yields of around 7-10% are assured with a guaranteed stream of tenants every year.


To find out more about investing in Liverpool’s student property market, get in touch for a chat.
If you’d like to know more about investing in student accommodation, you might be interested in learning how to Achieve High Yields By Investing In Youthful Cities.