Can anyone explain ?
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88 Posts
2 months ago

I lived in Coventry for over 30 years before moving to Gloucester just over 2 years ago. In my last 4 years of living in Coventry I saw a huge increase in properties being built in the city centre for the increasing student population. Coventry University was expanding rapidly due to its success, being hailed as 'Modern University of the year' four years in succession and also the successful and respected 'Warwick' University which actually is sited on the westerly outskirts of Coventry miles away from Warwick. So there is a large and increasing student poptulation. The buildings that were being erected were not just a few storeys of flats, but actually multi storey purpose built student flats built by large companies. If anyone has not visited Coventry for some years be prepared for a shock as the skyline in the City has been transformed in the last 4 years or so. In addition to this many of the traditional standard 2 and 3 bedroom terraced houses close to the city centre have been snapped up and miraculously converted into 5 studio apartments each with en-suite ! I fully expected this to grind to a halt because of Covid and the uncertainty whether the students would return in large numbers. Some of the flats were also tailored specifically for the Chinese student community which was until last year, also seeing a large increase.
I visited Coventry again last week and to my incredulity the buildings are still going up and the terraced conversions are seemingly still going on at an intensity seen prior to Covid. The Buildbase I used to buy materials from, the garage I took my van to, the car parts shop with a car park I used to buy my parts from, the Dairy that closed down years ago......all gone and more student accommodation being built on the sites and this is only in the last 18 months !
Is this happening in other Cities to this scale ? I can understand that young people can't afford to buy their first property these days and have to wait perhaps until they are in the 30's and have a partner to be able to afford their own first home, so this will increase significantly the demand for rental properties, particularly in Cities. But this tsunami of student accommodation in Coventry just seems to defy belief - and yet it continues when there seems to be uncertainty about the density of students returning. Does anyone have an insight into this ?

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