A blueprint to revitalise student accommodation
The council for a major Australian city and its corresponding peak industry body for education where victims of their own success. Sustained international marketing efforts had led to a decade of double-digit growth in international student numbers. Unfortunately, the city’s housing supply had not kept up and a vacancy rate of less than 1% meant that the City was at risk of having potential students to elsewhere due to their inability to find housing.
Stimulating accommodation supply
Barcley were engaged to baseline the existing supply demand situation and develop a range of potential solutions to simulate supply. Our initial work found that the situation in fact worse than had been anticipated, no new accommodation development for students had been undertaken in more then 15 years and what little stock existed was outdated and of questionable quality. Moreover, the city compared poorly with its competitor education destinations – in many cases with only 1/3 of the per capita supply available in other cities.
Our analysis then looked closely at the drivers of student accommodation – what were the genuine levers which government and industry had to stimulate accommodation supply growth on a city-wide scale. Interestingly, our benchmark analysis suggested that provided government sent tangible signals that they were going to support student accommodation development (in the form of planning policy, subsidies or both) then the actual value of any contribution was less important.
Working with the executive team, Barcley developed a 10 point strategy to address the shortage of student beds in the region in the short term, as well as to plan for the forecasted student growth over the next decade.