Leeds sees record rise in students bed numbers

Leeds recorded its largest ever increase in purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) last year, new research reveals.

Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 4:45 pm
Leeds saw a record increase in purpose-built student accommodation in 2020-21, according to research by Cushman & Wakefield.

Cushman & Wakefield’s Student Accommodation Tracker found there were 22,843 purpose-built student accommodation bed spaces for the 2020-21 academic year – a 2,000-bed increase on 2019-20. This represents the first large influx of beds into a market for some time and is the largest ever single-year increase in Leeds

Over two thirds of the beds in the city are now provided by the private sector and all beds in the pipeline are being built by private developers. Two new schemes are currently marketed to open in 2021, providing just under 1,000 new beds.

The tracker found the PBSA market remained resilient over the year, despite the unprecedented impact of Covid-19,

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Over the 2020-21 academic year there was a net increase of 21,000 beds nationally. The development pipeline currently stands at 115,000 beds, around 58 per cent of which have planning permission.

The coronavirus lockdowns in 2020-21 saw the greatest amount of rental discounting in the history of the sector, with 25 per cent of all direct let schemes offering some form of a reduction.

Nevertheless, the price of a new university en-suite bed increased by 17 per cent compared with 2019-20, raising questions about overall affordability.