In early 2024, QX Global Group and CBRE carried out a comprehensive research study on the impact of the London Plan on the Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) market. Here are our findings:

Key Findings

  • The London Plan's introduction of policy H15 aimed at increasing affordable PBSA has led to 12,000 new beds receiving planning consent, including 3,100 affordable beds.

  • Despite this, annualized growth of PBSA beds is significantly below target, with only 2,800 beds per year being added, well below the Greater London Authority's (GLA) target of 3,500 beds per year.

  • Competition for student housing remains high, with demand outstripping supply. The 'demand pool' of students not living at home or in their own home is approximately 200,000.

  • London's planning complexities and borough-specific variations have stifled the growth of affordable PBSA, driving development to outer London areas.

  • The decrease in houses in multiple occupancy (HMOs) and the high demand for Build to Rent (BTR) housing, where 20% is occupied by students, have exacerbated the housing shortage.

What’s inside?

  • Executive Summary: Key insights and findings
  • Policy Recap: Overview of Policy H15 and its implications
  • Student Numbers: Analysis of student demographics and housing needs
  • PBSA Supply and Challenges: Current supply, development pipeline, and barriers
  • Comparative Analysis: London versus other UK cities
  • Conclusions: Strategic recommendations and future outlook

About the Report

Published in May 2024, “The London Plan Three Years On: What’s been the impact on PBSA?” investigates the development of Purpose-Built Student Accommodation in London since the introduction of the London Plan in March 2021.

The report provides an in-depth analysis of planning consents, the delivery of affordable housing, and the ongoing challenges facing the PBSA market. Drawing on data from CBRE’s comprehensive research and market analysis, this report offers valuable insights into the current and future landscape of student housing in London.

This report aims to provide a detailed understanding of the factors impacting the growth of the PBSA sector and offers strategic recommendations to address the ongoing housing crisis

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