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  20 Feb 2022
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Student Housing Post Pandemic: Everything You Need To Know


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Student Housing in a Post Covid World: The New Normal

It is no longer news that the times have changed and the phrase–the new normal– has risen to become an everyday vocabulary for everyone. The Covid 19 Pandemic brought disruption to lives and activities and like every human venture, change became imminent.

This change has affected students and their quest for safe, all-inclusive student housing in these post-pandemic times. As schools resume for each semester, university towns get busy– exciting news for local businesses.

However, this new normal brought disruptions for students. While towns are happy to welcome both new and returning students, many students have had to contend with the ‘no vacancy’ notice they see whilst searching for accommodations.

This has made it a bit difficult for students to find a suitable student housing that accommodates their health needs without putting them at risk of infection.

The New Preference for PBSAs

The new normal has made it possible for new preferences in student housing. Many students are now opting for the PBSA.

Delegates heard at Real Asset Media ’s Student Housing in Post-Pandemic Times briefing 2021 report that ‘’purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) has emerged a winner as fears over the impact of coronavirus were analysed’’. This briefing took place online on May 19, 2021.

This means more purpose-built student accommodations (PBSAs) are now really needed in towns where colleges and universities are sited as students prefer these, over other forms of student housing.

The rise in the preference for PBSA buildings is not far-fetched. These student residences come with the luxury of privacy and community, which gives students more exclusivity and better control of their hygiene.

Also, more students are settling for off-campus en-suite or shared bathrooms, though more expensive. The privacy it affords makes it easy for students to opt for these, against the very common student housing options.

With this trend, landlords, architects and other real estate developers are seeking more ways to accommodate more students through more private-themed student housing options, post covid.

Why is Student Housing in a Post-Pandemic Era Important?

COVID-19 has indeed affected student accommodation. And for property owners, it is a time to take stock and be abreast of the latest happenings in the industry.

With the rise and preference for PBSA, there has been a great increase in the number of constructions for such housing models.

As a property owner, you should be in the know of the latest research findings. Research indicates that the student housing sector proved its resilience last year. There were no divestments, with €2.537 billion transacted volume compared to €2.554 billion in 2019, and no downing of tools, as 79% of PBSA under construction was delivered on time.

With the hybrid nature of studies now–online and offline– many students have a clear option of opting for more suitable study situations and property owners can key into this.

Student housing in a post covid era is very important for several reasons:

Students Need On-Campus Experience

One major aspect of learning is indeed the student experience it provides. This comes in several ways such as on-campus experience students which brings the need for student housing in the post-pandemic era is important.

Many have argued that student experience is a very integral part of education which leads to many accomplishments. This experience helps with networking in which students get to build life-long relationships, forge meaningful partnerships and collaborations for the now– and the future.

In a post-pandemic era, the student experience is even more important. Many students are grappling with the after-effects of the pandemic and having solid student housing that helps provide some emotional succour is important.

Students Overall University Ranking Also Depends on The Student Housing Available

Many potential students see accommodation as an important attribute for their choice of study. Research has shown that whilst evening and part-time students are more concerned about the quality of teaching, full-time young undergraduates are more interested in the quality of ‘student life.

And now, more than ever, the post-pandemic era is making a major contribution to the rankings of universities.

This is why property owners must be deliberate in ensuring they key in, specifically, to student housing in these times as your property could contribute to the ranking of institutions. The more the rank, the better it is for businesses.

You see, there is a need for proactiveness amongst universities in providing affordable housing for students or more still, partnering with other property owners to assist students with accommodation-related issues.

When students place importance on their experience, universities capitalize on this to their advantage. And so should you as a property owner.

Many International Students Want To Escape To New Environments

You see, universities with a good number of international student-presence are taking student housing even more seriously now, post-pandemic. This is why many student prospectuses and job advertisements include the campus environment in their ads even before they get to the main course or jobs information.

More still, property owners in the student accommodation sector can partner with universities. Through this, policy-makers can work with other stakeholders to attract more students to their cities and properties.

Types of Student Housing Available for Students in a Post-Pandemic Era

We earlier talked about the importance of student housing in a post-covid world. You may also wonder what types of accommodations are available to students in this era and how you can fragment your property to meet up with these trends.

Post-pandemic, student housing has evolved with few changes. Students have the option of choosing from the various student accommodations available. Each option has its pros and cons but is all great solutions towards solving student accommodation woes in the post-pandemic period.

A survey showed that student housing apartments that combine both general public and student occupancy are preferred by students.

About 65% of students surveyed said they preferred accommodation choice rather than single which was far less popular, accounting for 14% of respondents.

There are different types of student housing in post-pandemic times. They include:

Off-Campus Accommodations Which Are Greatly Loved

Many students are moving to off-campus student housing accommodations and surprisingly, at the same rate before the covid 19 disrupted academic studies.

The pandemic did not wane interest in this type of student housing. Reports from Real Capital Analytics says investors gulped in $5.7 billion into student housing properties over the 12 months that ended in the first quarter of 2021.

Students Love The Private Rented Houses And Rooms

These are managed by landlords and property owners in the private rented sector. For these types of accommodations, the architectural designs ensure that students can indeed consider sharing rented houses and rooms with other housemates or flatmates.

These buildings are sited in neighbourhoods having a high concentration of students but are also very diverse areas.

The quality of these apartments also vary but it is highly recommended that students rent from accredited landlords and property owners in the real estate sector.

They also have various Covid19 rules which it is expected for students to abide by, and they are tailored to fit into the present-day reality.

The University-Managed Houses And Rooms Are Also Great Starting Points

Another student housing option available to both undergraduate and postgraduate students in a post-pandemic era is the University-managed houses and rooms. They are managed by universities and look similar to normal houses and have a standardised look and facilities.

These also come with regulations for maintaining health standards in the post-pandemic setting and students are expected to adhere to these.

Students who opt to stay in student housing whilst resuming studies in the post-pandemic era can apply for this accommodation through their institutions' accommodation offices.‍ As a property owner, you can work with the institution to partner and have your student housing listed on their list of available housing for students.

With the University Hall of Residence, Students Have Other Options

The University halls of residence is another great type of student housing available in a post-pandemic era for students in their first and second years. They are sited on-campus and may come with in-house meals from canteens. ‍

With Private Halls, Many Property Owners Can Sort Out Housing Problems For Students in Post Pandemic Times

These properties are also known as purpose-built student living accommodations. While similar to university halls of residence, they are owned and managed by private companies and often located in a central location with the perks required for student living and the student experience.

The flip side is that these housing options are mostly the most expensive. However, they also come with great regulations to contain the spread of the covid19 virus and ensure that students have a great university student experience in a post covid world.‍

Many students love luxury and you could just carve a niche as a luxury student accommodation property owner in this post covid times.

Lastly, You Can Opt to Build Family Stays or Homestays

One more great option for student housing in post-pandemic times is the family stays that enables stays for visiting students from abroad. The students live in vacant rooms made available by local families for short terms which do not exceed a year.

A property owner can build these, have families live therein and it moves from there.

Read more: Increasing Revenue Through Mixed-use Student Housing Development

Pros of Student Housing for Student in Post Pandemic Era

Now that you’re abreast with the types of accommodations available to students in a post covid era, let’s consider the pros and cons of having student accommodations during these periods.

You see, many students struggle with choosing the right type of accommodation for the duration of their studies.

This is even more difficult, owing to the pandemic and the new normal the post-pandemic has brought with it. It is your job as a property owner to make these choices easy to pick for your target audience.

You need to determine the pros and cons of having each type of student housing in this post covid world. This will help you determine where to focus in your real estate business.

First, let’s focus on the pros.

Enjoy Good Flexibility With Facilities

One major advantage of living in student housing during this period is the ease with which the blended mode of teaching brings. With online studies, students in student accommodations have more flexibility to use facilities in the property.

This convenience allows the students to freely log into their portals in the comfort of their homes, even in quarantine and isolations. The available Wi-Fi connections make it easier for the students to benefit from classes from a secured location.

Have A Good Network of Support

Students also get to benefit from a good network of support from fellow students. The post-pandemic era came with a lot of uncertainty and having fellow students who are understanding and are on the same course, helps navigate study life and enriches the student experience.

Get Good Health Facilities and Safety Measures

These student housing come with facilities that enhance health measures. They have regulations for testing, isolation and quarantine so as not to infect other students and fellow flatmates.

Cons of Student Housing for Student in Post Pandemic Era

Next, let’s look at the cons.

Expensive Student Accommodations Are on The Rise

The post-pandemic world has made it a tad difficult to have very simple rooms at cheaper prices. Because of the restrictions on the number of people in public settings, the accommodations are becoming expensive and are served on a first-come, first-served basis.

This means an accommodation that should have served more people is restricted to fewer people. And you know what it means in economics; more demand than supply makes things very expensive, and competitive.

Risk of Contracting The Virus Increases

With students sharing facilities like toilets and other hygienic amenities, the risk of contracting the virus increases. This puts more students at risk of Covid19 and its various strains and mutations.

More Restricted Lifestyle for Many Students

With student accommodation in post covid times, comes some restricted movements for students. The number of people occupying space at a time puts a peg on some activities to be carried out.

Are Post Pandemic Student Housing Safe For Students?

It is no longer news that the pandemic posed risks that can only be reduced but not eliminated. This is because on-campus activities and dorm living come with potential risks that one should carefully consider before making a final decision on student housing to opt for in post covid times.

Post Pandemic student housing accommodations can be safe if landlords and property owners are constantly renewing their designs and formats for housing to fit current trends. Include new measures to ensure students have a wholesome, yet, safe experience in school.

Landlords and property owners are advised to adhere to several guidelines that dictate the activities and health standards of students in the student housing properties.

While these accommodations and residences are safe, the ultimate safety also lies with each student, ensuring they follow due process in their activities, follow stipulated guidelines and codes of conduct, and generally maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Most student accommodations indeed consider student rooms as their private space.

This means once a student takes over a room, dorm or apartment, their space becomes a personal space. Dorm rooms are not considered the student’s private home and thus, what happens therein cannot be guaranteed.

This is why each property owner must ensure to put in measures that upgrade the safety conditions of students living in the properties. Property owners must try as much as possible to provide residents of student housing post-pandemic with the information needed for a great experience.

Also, students must ensure to maintain proper hygiene in their space/rooms.

This, also largely depends on how cooperative students are adhering to the guidelines provided whilst maintaining the necessary physical distancing recommendations in their apartments or dorm rooms.

How To Maintain Hygiene In Student Housing in Post Covid Times

These are a few ways to maintain hygiene in student housing in post-pandemic situations:

  • Ensure that students get tested for the virus before taking over your property.

Put in rules like these for students:

  • If you feel you’re experiencing Covid19 symptoms, ensure you stay in isolation and self-quarantine. Also, try to call the student housing health service or your healthcare provider for more information.

  • Apply best practices to disinfect your room and other surfaces.

  • You should also wear reusable gloves while cleaning and disinfecting your room and surfaces

  • Follow stipulated guidelines for testing and vaccination.

  • Also, ensure you adhere to face coverings guidelines in your apartment.

  • Maintain appropriate social distancing in common areas and shared facilities.

  • Get good health insurance.

Here Are Things to Consider Before Opting For Student Housing In A Post-Pandemic World

The covid19 has thrown questions to both property owners who wish to invest in student housing post-pandemic, and students who wish to live in a student housing apartment post-Covid.

You see, there are a few things you must consider before concluding on a student housing apartment post covid. They include:

Ensure The Safety Of The Student Housing Apartments

Property owners must ensure the safety of the student housing apartment. You do not want to endanger occupants on your property. The safety of other occupants must be put into consideration before deciding on the best post-pandemic student housing apartment.

This is to ensure and guarantee the health, hygiene and leisure of occupants.

How Should They Maintain Good Hygiene Practice?

You need to confirm that the student housing facilities are capable of maintaining good hygiene practices as a safety measure. At intervals, private owners of the housing facility disinfect the rooms, halls, and washrooms.

Also, ensure that the student accommodation facilities do implement markings and other hand-sanitizing systems in the accommodation.

Is There An Intervention From The Government?

Some government’s like the UK have guidelines that ensure no private student accommodation owner or landlord can forcefully evacuate international students during a crisis.

Legally speaking, nobody is entitled to the forceful evacuation of students from the housing facility, even if their contract period is over or their rent is unpaid.

As a property owner, you need to ensure that you provide the students with a six-month notice should the student find it challenging to pay the rent.

What Are The Mandatory Testing Isolation Color-Based Guidelines?

Having a good idea of the Covid19 isolation travel restriction guidelines is very important. Understanding these will help ensure the type of student housing accommodation you opt for, for your business.

Your apartment should have clear colour-based guidelines for your tenants, else, they may not pay for such accommodation.

Whilst universities and government are upping the ante to help students feel less overwhelmed in this post-pandemic world, property owners and managers have a role to play in deciding what level of comfort and safety their tenants enjoy while also being away from their homes.

To ensure that you put every detail right before your tenants decide on the accommodation so that when they are in trouble, they’ll know the right place to look for a solution.

What Is The Future of Student Housing In A Post-COVID World?

The future of student housing in post-pandemic times sadly is uncertain. S peculations arising from watching trends . Whilst it is expected that there will be long-term changes to the student housing landscape, several questions remain unanswered.

Predictions for these and the future of student housing developments include:

Less Attendance of Universities By Students

It is expected that there will be fewer students attending universities physically, especially as the online and blended versions of education have kicked in. This may affect more international students.

With this trend, student living communities may see it as difficult to maintain high occupancy rates.

Many May Opt For Off-Campus Housing

As many universities will not accommodate more students in on-campus residence for health and safety reasons, on-campus housing may seem unsafe for undergraduate students. This may result in more students opting for more private or university-private partnered housing .

There May Be A Rise In Demand For Shorter, More Flexible Lease Terms

Many students are seeking added flexibility in their housing contracts. From the traditional 12-month lease term without the option to sublet, there may be a need for more flexible lease contracts.

It Will Become Trendy To Have Health-Promoting Amenities

There may be a rise in health-promoting facilities with new and upgraded facilities to assuage health concerns. There may be enhanced air purification systems, food delivery lockers and package lockers, keyless entry, and added sanitation measures.

There May Be A Shift To Multi-Family or a Blended Model

Already, there is a slow curve in the curve of purpose-built student housing developments since 2021. Many student housing communities are also switching to multi-family and opting for a blended marketing approach focusing on both university students and non-student renters to fill vacancies.

This means there will be a larger target audience for property owners who may build henceforth to attract a wider variety of prospective target audiences.

There Will be A Preference For All-Inclusive, Spacious and Private Accommodations.

Students can expect to see a new student lifestyle and a wave of students seeking more spacious spaces. Many will also opt for more private apartments which offer more exclusivity and privacy.

The new student housing may come with very fully equipped rooms and kitchens, and less cramped quarters.

Finally, high-speed internet included in rent will continue to rise as a major selling point, and students will likely avoid student housing that doesn’t offer high-speed internet options.

Communities without these features may be forced to renovate or risk losing out on a shrinking student renter pool.

Property owners can key into these expected trends in order to remain abreast of the happenings in this sector. As a business owner, you do not want to be overwhelmed and unprepared for the future of your industry.

Last but not least, many student housings are starting to take advantage a Student Housing Management Software to help them better manage their operations, increase their marketing exposure and boost their revenue. And you should too! Schedule a call with us to learn more

References

  1. Ruddy, Erin. ‘’Student housing in a post-COVID world. From supply and demand to shifting priorities, Canada’s PSBA sector is evolving.’’ September 1, 2021. Accessed Jan 7, 2022.

https://www.reminetwork.com/articles/student-housing-in-a-post-covid-world/

  1. The Pie News. ‘’Student accommodation in the post-pandemic era: viewpoints from Chinese international students’’. Posted on August 13, 2021. https://thepienews.com/uncategorized/student-accommodation-in-the-post-pandemic-era-viewpoints-from-chinese-international-students/ Accessed January 8, 2022.

  1. Student Cover. ‘’Post-Pandemic World in The UK: Facts to know before entering the student accommodation’’ August 27, 2021. https://studentcover.in/post-pandemic-world-in-the-u-k-facts-to-know-before-entering-the-student-accommodation/ Accessed January 8, 2022.

  1. BONARD: Student Housing in post-pandemic times. August 13, 2021. https://bonard.com/project/student-housing-in-post-pandemic-times/ Accessed January 9, 2021.

  1. The Holds Agency: ‘’Real Talk About The Student Housing Outlook for 2021’’ April 19, 2021. https://www.thresholdagency.com/real-talk-about-the-student-housing-outlook-for-2021/ Accessed January 12, 2021.

  1. Anderson, Bendix. ‘’Off-Campus Student Housing Emerges from COVID-19 on Strong Footing’’. May 27, 2021. https://www.wealthmanagement.com/investment-strategies/campus-student-housing-emerges-covid-19-strong-footing Accessed on January 12, 2022.

  1. Ruddy, Erin. ‘’Student housing in a post-COVID world. From supply and demand to shifting priorities, Canada’s PSBA sector is evolving.’’ September 1, 2021. Accessed Jan 7, 2022.

https://www.reminetwork.com/articles/student-housing-in-a-post-covid-world/

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