For prospective entrants, this may all just be too much, with lower yields not justifying the work involved. So recently other investment avenues have started appearing. One of the most attractive sub-sectors of the property market is student accommodation, with brand-new purpose-built apartments now available, offering a safe and enclosed working and living environment with a host of facilities on site. This is especially attractive for overseas students, who may feel vulnerable in a new and strange city.
There are currently 1.8m students in the UK, but only 550,000 live in purpose-built accommodation or on a university campus. And demand means that rent increases can be pushed through each year, having grown at an average 3.5 per cent a year. The UK is also a highly sought-after place to study - in 2016 a record 725,000 applicants were chasing 540,000 places.