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Unite notes that demand for student accommodation in the UK has increased

(Allianz News) – United Group plc on Wednesday reported a significant increase in bookings for student accommodation in the UK, citing strong demand from current and new students.

United Group is an owner, manager and developer of student accommodation in Bristol, England. On Wednesday he gave an update on UK student accommodation funding and London student accommodation at 31 March.

He noted a “strong improvement” in bookings for the 2023/24 academic year, with 90% of rooms already sold, up from 78% a year ago.

“Bookings are significantly ahead of recent sales cycles, reflecting strong demand from new and existing students, as well as new appointment agreements with universities,” chief executive Richard Smith said.

The improvement boosts its confidence of 6-7% rental growth for the period, United said. He noted that student accommodation “can’t keep pace” with growing demand, and many residential house owners are leaving the sector.

The value of the USAF’s asset portfolio was unchanged at £2.89bn in the quarter to March 31, but up 0.8% from £2.87bn a year earlier. LSAV’s portfolio was valued at £1.92bn, down 0.1% on a like-for-like basis in the quarter and up 2.7% from £1.89bn last quarter.

“The change in value in the quarter was due to an increase in rents and an offsetting increase in property yields,” explained Unite.

The company added, “From our preliminary results, we have made good progress in improving the returns of the four projects through reduction in land prices and, in some cases, greater certainty in construction costs. Development opportunities that offer attractive returns. We hope to engage in many of these projects in 2023.”

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United shares rose 0.4% to 967.50 pence in London on Wednesday morning.

By Tom Budszus, Alliance News Correspondent

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