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How Brexit Has Affected the Student Housing Market

As the UK enters a new stage of the Brexit negotiations and prepares to depart from the European Union on the 29th March 2019, the period of uncertainty which has permeated the UK appears to be lifting.

However, for landlords who own student HMO accommodation, Brexit’s effects on the student property market are no doubt at the forefront of their minds. We explore what has happened to the student letting market so far, and look to future of student housing, post-Brexit.

How Has Brexit Affected University Applications in the UK?
There are currently almost 1.8 million full time students studying in the UK. While uncertainty does remain around the future of some areas of funding to universities which comes directly from the European Union, the appetite for a UK university education is extremely unlikely to subside, no matter how Brexit is handled.

The UK’s reputation as a leading place of education means that there are a high number of international students who are attracted to studying at British universities. In fact, around 23% of students studying here are from overseas. However, the majority of these students are actually made of those who come from outside of the European Union. In fact, 7 out of 10 international students came from non- EU countries in 2016, with those coming from Asia making up the largest group of international students.

For landlords considering the short term implications, despite a dip in applications from EU students in 2016, there has actually been a last minute rush of applications from students within the EU who want to apply before the Brexit door closes in 2018. Figures for applications for the 2018 autumn start date show that applications from EU students increased, for some universities by around 10%, which has more than compensated for the initial dip.

Looking beyond Brexit an astonishing increase of applications from Mexico of over 50% year on year has been attributed to the Donald Trump administration.

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