Students are now an integral part of the property market in Falmouth and Penryn. From purpose built apartment blocks to privately owned houses, there is a wide choice of accommodation for students to choose from and it has to be said a wide standard, too.
Falmouth University and Exeter's Penryn Campus have over 6000 students between them and over 4000 of those are looking to rent in the private sector. This number and the planned growth has provided a boost to the Falmouth property market with more students wanting to study in the area and more private landlords looking to invest.
I have many potential landlords, often parents of soon-to-be students, contacting me to discuss investing in a student property. They hear of the high annual income that can be achieved but sometimes underestimate the work involved in managing a student property and keeping up to date with the ever changing legal requirements.
Potential and existing landlords should consider what may happen if the property is not let or if additional licensing comes into place preventing the ability to renew HMO licences in certain parts of Falmouth. Another key consideration is the rise in purpose built student accommodation and how much of an effect this will have on demand, new accommodation is planned to be available from 2018 although this will be aimed at first year under graduates and international students primarily.
Although there is no sign of the market cooling any time soon, it is worth having a contingency plan just in case. It is true that in the majority of cases there are excellent annual returns to be made, last year we found all of our properties let extremely quickly and demand outstripped supply, meaning landlords were also able to select the best tenants for their properties. I can see no reason for this to change in the near future.
We have sold student properties in the last year varying from a 4 bedroom new build house to a 2 bedroom flat, after the initial outlay it is worth factoring in potential expenditures such as replacing furniture redecorating and dealing with tenancies. With changes to tax allowances coming and the possibility of the abolition of the 10% furnished property allowance, it is worth talking to a financial advisor prior to making a purchase.
For those old enough to remember the comedy 'The Young Ones' you'll be glad to know that student properties, well certainly the ones we deal with, are no longer like the one Neil et al lived in. Students rightly can expect well equipped, well maintained clean and tidy homes. They ask questions of Landlords and agents alike, are the properties managed by an agent? If so are they members of ARLA and the property ombudsman scheme? They will also know of the requirement for an EPC, Gas safety Certificate and licences. In short if none of the above is adhered to and the property is neglected it is unlikely it will let.
Generally student properties make great investments but it is worth doing your homework before taking the plunge. Good properties do demand a premium and prices are increasing. If you are looking at buying or selling a student property or are keen to find out more please give me a call on 01326 697696.