32,000 new beds entered the booming UK student accommodation market for the 2019/20 academic year, taking the total number up to 660,000, with transactions reaching c.€3bn (£2.5bn) by the end of October, according to new data from Cushman & Wakefield. An overwhelming proportion of these new beds were delivered by the private sector (87%) – the joint-highest proportion of new privately-owned beds on record. Some 95% of all beds this year featured a small double bed or larger, with nearly 19,000 having access to large common spaces (such as a gym, study room, or common room) emphasising the student focus on overall university experience, which increasingly includes the quality of their accommodation.

The report reveals that a new private-sector en-suite bed costs on average £6,883 per annum. The pricing differential between the private sector and university en-suite beds is reducing, according to the new data. Average private sector en-suite accommodation is now priced just 1.3% higher than the equivalent provided by the university themselves. Regional rents vary significantly across the UK from a low of €141 (£119) per week in Belfast to €275 (£232) per week in London.