First PBSA only lender launches

First PBSA only lender launches

It’s certainly been an interesting time for student property, and student property investors. With universities now putting plans in place for the coming academic year in September, things appear to be reaching some clarity as to what the ‘new normal’ will look like.

It’s been interesting to see the increased focus on Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) from government and more prominent investors since it became apparent that some large pension funds were backing the asset class in a big way.

With commercial property going through a reckoning of sorts, it’s not impossible that much of that capital could find its way out of commercial property and into some of the larger PBSA projects being proposed over the next few years.

That’s not to say that there’s any real huge concern over commercial property in the long term, but in the shorter to medium term many are expecting to see quite a large shift in focus from retail outlets into warehousing as consumers continue to flock to internet retailers in favour of the high street.

Now that the government has clarified its plans to get students back into education come September, this appears to have injected a large amount of confidence into the market and we’re already starting to see a large increase in commentary regarding strategy and planning for later in the year.

It could well turn out that thanks to a relative return to stability in the higher education sector, that this could turn out to be a very big year for student accommodation.

PBSA only lending

According to a report by Property Wire, the UK’s first specialist lender for student accommodation investment will be launching this month.

It’s a bold move as lending for investment into this asset class has tended to be quite niche with only a small number offering mortgages and loans, and this could be an indicator of PBSA continuing to quickly move into the mainstream.

After a number of years of record growth, it’s difficult to see where the brakes could be applied on a flourishing asset class and industry. Despite a global pandemic, student numbers and applications are looking very stable with universities expecting to welcome a large number of new students in the autumn.

With £100 million being committed to the fund, Steve Grant, chief executive of Kinetic Capital told Property Wire ‘The resilience of higher education continues to underpin the PBSA market, providing for strong demand and growth in the sector. Investor appetite for secure, high yielding revenue streams supported by the growing global student population, translates to a positive outlook.’

Back in June UCAS even reported a rise in student applications which, given some of the dire predictions back in May, is a pretty astounding statistic.

PBSA is and remains one of the standout performers in property over recent years, and with a healthy pipeline of student ‘pods’ and properties on the resale market it’s anticipated that many smaller individual investors and buyers could enter the market in the coming year.

Certainly, judging by performance and industry activity, 2020 would be a good year to take the plunge, possibly counter to instinct during a global pandemic.

Looking to invest in Purpose Built Student Accommodation? Take a look at our portfolio and speak to a consultant about the opportunities on offer!

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