The Times Higher Education rankings for 2014 have been released today and universities in London and the South East have been listed amongst the world's top institutions. The report features 29 UK universities in the top 200 institutions in the world, coming second in terms of the total number of universities in the list, following closely behind the US.
So, what does this mean for the UK's student accommodation sector?
Paul Leamy, senior counsel in the real estate team at international law firm Taylor Wessing gives his views:
"Reports in the market continue to indicate an under-supply of luxury student accommodation, which suggests there is still room for the sector to grow, especially in London. There are several reasons as to why luxury student accommodation continues to perform strongly, one of which is the ability of London's internationally renowned universities to attract high net worth students from across the globe. As a result of this constant and relatively stable demand, real estate funds continue to demonstrate an appetite for this asset class and developers remain committed to seeking out potential development sites. This has had the knock on effect of increased competition for prime locations.
However, it is not all plain sailing, developers have had to face challenges in the sector which have presented some financial viability issues on development opportunities. These include the Community Infrastructure Levy being imposed by the local authorities in London, and the impact of each council's affordable housing policies. Overall though, we are still seeing strong interest from developer clients active in the luxury student accommodation market and are working with them to overcome these viability issues."