How to successfully invest in the student accommodation property market

Updated on 2 February 2015

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How to successfully invest in the student accommodation property market


Thousands of students who are admitted to tertiary institutions spend countless hours searching for good accommodation to stay during the duration of their studies which has opened up opportunities in the property market.

The boom of old houses and office buildings being converted to student communes and apartments, in Johannesburg, in areas such as Braamfontein, Auckland Park and Brixton are excellent examples of good investment options one can explore.

Many old dilapidated properties are subdivided into multi-tenant communes and apartments who house hundreds of students from institutions such as the University of Johannesburg and Witwatersrand University.

These residential properties are convenient for many students due to their affordability and proximity to learning institutions and other various amenities useful to them.

Important factors to consider before investing in a student rental property

Before an investor can jump into purchasing a student letting property, it’s important for them to properly evaluate most students’ day-to-day essential requirements. These factors play a significant role in making the investment a lucrative or unsuccessful one. By taking into consideration the following factors, such an investment can be a fruitful one:

The location where a student accommodation is situated must be easily accessible and within walking distance to their institutions and other places of interest. The area must generally be safe with few incidents taking place in the neighbourhood. Areas such as Auckland Park, Hatfield and Braamfontein are some of the well known areas that are good for student residential property investment.

2. Accessibility
The majority of students do not own cars and have to rely on public transport to get around, therefore the property where they reside at must be close to main routes for access to public transport.

3. Security
A secured residential property will mean that many parents will rest assured that their children are in a safe environment. Where necessary this may involve having a 24 hour security on the property seven days a week. Guarding the property will ensure that unwanted intruders are kept away.

4. Amenities
A property close to places of service will be more convenient to stay at than one that is far from everything. A house a few blocks away from the neighbourhood shopping centre will be more attractive to tenants than one were they will have to take a taxi or two. Although the main aim for students coming to university is their studies, students do however take a break away from their studies and socialise with other students; therefore places such as student centres for entertainment needs to be accessible nearby.

5. Extra features to the property
As a landlord going the extra mile to ensure that your tenants are taken good care of, will go a long way in persuading your tenants to stay longer at your property. Study desks and internet services are just some of the extra features to consider. This will further add to the convenience, and will make their stay more pleasurable.

6. Maintenance
Regular maintenance on the property will help keep the property in good conditions and maintain the appeal for new students year-on-year. Therefore it is best that there be a full-time caretaker on site to handle any minor issues, and to carry out the maintenance on behalf of the landlord. In that way, the structure of the property will be preserved and will last for many more years to come while you enjoy the benefits of your good investment.

About Lesiba Mooka: Lesiba Mooka is the  founder and CEO of Cobalt Blue Properties an all-inclusive property services firm. Mooka is a real estate entrepreneur from MahwelerengMokopane in Limpopo, with an undying love for investing in different kinds of properties and helping others build a solid property portfolio of their own. You can also find him on Twitter at @CobaltBlueProps

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