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What Is Purpose-Built Student Accommodation?
5 min read
Student Housing News

What Is Purpose-Built Student Accommodation?

What is Purpose-built student Accommodation?

Student Housing News

Mar 29, 2024
5 min read
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Mar 29, 2024
5 min read

Purpose-Built Student Accommodation is a concept that is revolutionising and reshaping modern student living. The idea is to create a space beyond just a bed and a desk that suits the lifestyles of university students. PBSA creates a holistic living experience that supports both academic success and social growth.

These accommodations come fully equipped with amenities like inclusive utility bills, dedicated study spaces, communal lounges, and, often, comprehensive security measures. This blog can be helpful for those who have recently stepped into the student housing market and want to understand the meaning of PBSA.

Key Characteristics of PBSA

While purpose-built student accommodation shares a lot of similarities with traditional student housing, there are a few characteristics that make it stand out. For starters, standard rental apartments may be converted into student living spaces and share a lot of similarities with residential properties made for regular tenants such as young professionals / single-family. PBSAs, on the other hand, are built from scratch while keeping in mind all the student's needs. Here are a few of those characteristics:

#1. Modern Design & Amenities

PBSA developments are designed with contemporary architecture and interior styling, offering residents an inviting and aesthetically pleasing living environment. These facilities typically include a range of amenities, such as on-site fitness centres, laundry facilities, dedicated study areas, communal lounges, and, in certain cases, entertainment options like cinemas or games rooms, which enhance the overall residential experience.

#2. All-Inclusive Bills

PBSA offers comprehensive packages that combine everything into one straightforward cost. This means that when students pay their rent, they also cover utility bills like electricity and water, internet access, and sometimes even their meals. This arrangement significantly eases budgeting efforts, as students can clearly anticipate their monthly expenses without the hassle of tracking and paying for services separately. Moreover, it alleviates the stress associated with managing various bills, making the student living experience smoother.

#3. Location

PBSA developments are strategically located near universities or colleges, ensuring convenient access to academic facilities. Students can get involved in campus activities without worrying about long commutes. They can join clubs, attend events, or hang out with friends on campus much more easily. This proximity allows more time for studies and campus engagement, fostering a deeper connection with university life.

#4. Safety & Security

PBSA providers prioritise the safety and security of their residents. Features like CCTV surveillance, controlled access systems, and on-site security personnel provide peace of mind for students and parents alike. Plus, many of these places have security staff on-site and 24/7 management team to ensure students have a comfortable and safe living experience.

#5. Community & Social Interaction

PBSA developments often foster a sense of community by organising social events or providing communal spaces. These activities are a fantastic way to meet people, make friends, and feel less isolated. For international students or anyone feeling a bit out of their depth in a new city, these opportunities can be a lifeline.

Popular PBSA Room Types and Uses

In the business of providing accommodations, it's crucial to align the offerings with diverse needs and preferences as per the target demographic. By understanding the different types of living spaces available under PBSA properties, one can tailor their portfolio to meet the changing preferences of students. This ensures both tenant satisfaction and success in a competitive student housing landscape. Here's a comprehensive overview:

 Popular PBSA Room Types
  • Ensuite apartments: These are premium offerings that cater to students seeking privacy and convenience. Each unit includes a private bedroom and bathroom, with a shared kitchen serving as a communal space. Ensuite apartments are attractive to students who value their privacy but are still open to social interactions in shared areas. Offering these can position your property as a top-tier choice for discerning students.
  • Non-ensuite apartments: Designed for budget-conscious students, non-ensuite apartments provide a private bedroom with shared bathroom and kitchen facilities. This option is popular among students looking to save on housing costs without compromising their sleeping area's privacy. Including non-ensuite apartments in your portfolio can help you capture a broader market, appealing to students who prioritise affordability.
  • Studio apartments: Ideal for students who prefer independence and privacy, studio apartments offer a fully self-contained living space with no shared facilities. This accommodation type appeals to postgraduate students, international students, or those who prefer a quiet, solitary living environment. Offering studio apartments can attract a niche segment of tenants, specifically looking for a higher degree of privacy and independence.
  • Private or shared apartments: These apartments are designed with communal living in mind, offering private bedrooms within a shared apartment. They foster a sense of community and are popular among first-year students and those looking to make new friends. They provide a balanced mix of privacy and social interaction, making them an essential component of any diversified student housing portfolio.

What Are PBSAs & Student Housing Known as in Major Countries?

Student housing and PBSAs take on various forms and names across the globe, adapting to the unique needs and cultural nuances of each country. Here are a few examples of how different countries refer to these specialised living spaces:

  • UK: It is commonly referred to as "Purpose Built Student Accommodation.”
  • United States: These accommodations are often called "Purpose Built Student Housing."
  • Canada: Similar to the US, student homes in Canada are commonly known as "Student Residences" or "Purpose Built Student Housing."
  • Australia: PBSAs are typically referred to as "Purpose Built Student Accommodations.”
  • Germany: In Germany, the student accommodations are referred to as "Studentenwohnheim" (student homes).
  • France: In France, it is termed "Logement étudiant" (Student Accommodation).
  • Spain: In Spain, PBSA is known as "Residencia de Estudiantes" (Student Residences).

PBSA: A Remarkable Choice for Investors?

Purpose built student accommodation is a rapidly growing segment of the student housing market that offers various opportunities to cater to the diverse needs of the student population. By understanding its core characteristics, different types, and market potential, developers and operators can make informed decisions regarding their investments.

If you are new to the market and want to gain an in-depth understanding of PBSA's meaning and functioning, you can refer to our guide PBSA Real Estate 101: Everything about Purpose-Built Student Accommodation.”

Uploaded On
April 2, 2024
last updated on
April 2, 2024

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