New data from property investment experts, The Mistoria Group, has revealed that demand for shared accommodation from international students, particularly from China, the Middle East and Asia is set to surge in 2021.

The UK government hopes to attract 600,000 international students to its universities over the next ten years and the new visas, introduced this month, will lay the foundations for this huge growth. Under the new visa requirements, international students will have to achieve at least 70 points to qualify, on condition that they have secured a place in the programme, can support themselves financially and are fluent in the English language. All these factors contribute to their points.

Students outside the UK may apply for visas six months before their course starts. Under the previous Tier 4 visa requirements, they only had three months to apply and secure a visa. This longer lead time should enable more students to secure their student visas ahead of their course.

In summer 2021, there will also be a new graduate visa to allow students who have completed a UK degree to study in the country for two years, or three years if they have completed a PhD.

Mish Liyanage, Managing Director of The Mistoria Group, comments: “While Brexit may impact the number of EU students studying in the UK in 2021, the Government’s new visas will help boost international student demand from outside Europe, by providing a much better offering. International graduates will be able to stay in the UK for up to two years after graduating in summer 2021, as long as they enter the UK by April 6, 2021, and complete their final semester in the country.

“Towns and cities near the UK’s top universities are likely to see a surge in demand for shared student accommodation this year, particularly HMOs which offer an excellent return on investment. An HMO property with a superior spec can deliver investors an average gross rental yield of 18%, leveraged return on investment of 38% plus, before any charges and voids.

Mish concludes: “A three-bed HMO which houses three students, can be bought from £120,000 upwards in the North West. The return on investment is very attractive too, with 13% (8% cash rental and 5% capital growth). The gross rent on the property will exceed £1,300 pcm, as each room is rented out.”