Property news roundup: The best places to invest in student housing

Plus, can we build 200,000 homes a year, and your chance for The Good Life

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The Independent Online

Purpose-built student housing in 14 UK university cities and towns has 'First Class' possibilities for investors, according to a new report from Savills. 

The 2014 rankings report shows that investment in the student housing market is around £5 billion in the past two years and forecasts transactions worth £2.5 billion this year

Its analysis ranks 14 university towns and cities as ‘first class’ - Aberdeen, Bath, Bournemouth, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Kingston upon Thames, London, Newcastle upon Tyne, Oxford and St Andrews.

Aberdeen, Bournemouth, Glasgow, Kingston upon Thames and Newcastle have been promoted to ‘first’ from last year's ‘upper second’ rank.

"The UK purpose-built student housing sector is proving an attractive buy and continues to combine strong yields and rising rental income," said Savills research analyst Neal Hudson, "but investors will need to bear in mind that the sector is not without risk."

200,000 New Homes a Year an 'unachievable' figure 

Only six per cent of housebuilders believe that the key target of 200,000 homes to be built every year is deliverable, according to Knight Frank’s housebuilding report 'Building Momentum''

Grainne Gilmore, Head of UK Research at Knight Frank, said: "There is no doubt that developers have stepped up activity since the zenith of the financial crisis. But this still leaves development some way off the levels needed to meet demand across the UK."

Around a third of housebuilders believe that 180,000 is the maximum number achievable. 

In the UK, 28 per cent of all new build sales were via Help to Buy. The largest proportion of homes sold under the scheme was in Derby were the figures rose to 80 per cent.

Have a go at The Good Life?

This one bedrom cottage in Cwmrheidol, Aberystwyth (pictured above) has an oak frame and is built from wattle and daub. As well as its own private water, electricity and solid fuel heating, it comes with seven acres of wood and secluded river access. In fact, the particulars from The Small Holding Company suggest that the property would allow the new owners to "make a real jump towards being truly self-sufficient". Features include a slate flat floor and sleeping platform in the living room, a 'Rocket Mass Heater' in the conservatory, and the original stone cottage in the garden, currently used as a workshop.