As we are based in Camden Town and Kentish Town, London Residential has been extremely well placed to chart the changing face of student accommodation in London.
While there is still a plentiful supply of house shares - especially in our patch of North West London, where the multi-storey period properties lend themselves to HMOs (Houses of Multiple Occupation) - there are rumblings that universities have failed to keep pace with demand, with no increase in halls of residence spaces.
Step in the developer. Homegrown and international house builders are plugging the student accommodation gap in London and are, at the same time, raising the bar in terms of standards and services offered to undergraduates.
For example, nearby Chapter Kings Cross student village has shared spaces, an exercise studio and gym, screening room, 24/7 concierge and a games area. Elsewhere in the capital, students are enjoying karaoke rooms, private cinemas, sky lounges, bars and even app-operated on-site launderettes at a number of new-style student developments.
While many upscale student-focused developments are chosen by the families of international undergraduates for the central locations, security features and the peace-of-mind that everything 'brand new' brings, it's interesting to read that final-year students see these developments as middle ground between living the life of a humble student and being a more independent, wage earning individual.
The world of private student halls is positively thriving, fuelled largely by the overseas market. A decade ago there were 43 dedicated student halls in the capital. Today that figure has grown to 109, housing more than 20,000 students.