Once one of the UK’s biggest industrial hotbeds, the city of Sheffield is now a glamorous investment opportunity for a whole other reason; its student population. In particular, student property investment in Sheffield is a major part of the cities economy, although much of this market may be heading for disaster if proposed new local council directives come into force.
One of the most rapidly expanding cities in the county, Sheffield’s total of around 55,000 students account for around 10% of the entire city’s population during term time, and with all of these people needing places to live, the student property market has understandably boomed in recent years.
Sheffield, alongside its renaissance as a vibrant centre for modern businesses, is home to two universities, one of which (Sheffield Hallam University) has grown to be the third largest in the UK. Between Sheffield Hallam, and its counterpart, the University of Sheffield, the city continues to attract many thousands of new people every year.
The dense population of the Yorkshire city means that the city buzzes with a dynamic youthfulness, and this in turn attracts many more students at the start of every academic year.
While many of the first year students are offered dedicated accommodation through university-run schemes and halls of residence, very few are catered for after the initial year. As a result, many property investors have taken to Sheffield as a profitable and low-risk investment opportunity. Sheffield has consequently become one of the most sought-after cities for investors.
As well as independent landlords, student developments are exponentially spreading throughout the city, all vying for the custom of these students who need comfortable and affordable places to live during their studies.
This property market appeals to a wide range of people, from independent property owners seeking to make some extra money on the side, right through to dedicated organisations who make a full-time business out of providing and maintaining student residences. With around 35,000 students each year looking for accommodation, it’s little wonder why Sheffield is such an excellent investment opportunity.
But despite this, Article 4 Directions proposed by the local councils are threatening to destroy the student housing market as it has come to be known. Sheffield City Council is one of 30 in the country currently considering enforcing this legislation.
Many students prefer the popular option of shared accommodation; after all, this provides not only a cheaper option by allowing shared costs, but also offers the added benefit of a more sociable living arrangement.
Under the proposed changes though, the legislation will mean that house and apartment sharing is prohibited, and many people have surmised that students will be amongst the first people to be affected by this ruling, meaning that Sheffield may suffer from decreased student interest moving forward.
On the other hand, dedicated student accommodation are likely to benefit, with huge numbers of students prepared to turn to them to provide their housing.
Despite the uncertainty, Sheffield certainly continues to offer great opportunities for dedicated student accommodation investment in Sheffield for businesses and investors.