Hard working, digitally savvy and great at multitasking, Generation Z are the new generation of students and young professionals ready to make their mark on the UK. Born between 1995 to the late 2012, the older members of Generation Z are, or have been, embarking on their university studies in the last couple of years. But what exactly does this mean for the student property market?
In a careers sense, Generation Z are a group with entrepreneurial attitudes. Unlike the Millennials before them who were focused on finding success in creative, exciting careers, Generation Z are more motivated by the idea of building their own businesses. Those born in this era see owning a business as a route to financial security, dreaming of graduating university without debt, and working as hard as is needed to achieve their financial goals. Rather than chasing the dream of a fun career in a cool and quirky office, Generation Z are more realistic about their goals, choosing a well-paid job that will provide them with the means they need to have a comfortable life.
According to the UCAS end of cycle report, a record number of 18 year olds in the UK gained a place in university or college in 2017. With rising student populations there comes a higher demand for student accommodation, which is certainly being recognised throughout the UK’s major cities. Property development companies such as RW Invest are recognising a demand for high-quality student accommodation that’s a far cry from the grotty shared housing or tiny university halls endured by students in the past.
This type of luxury student accommodation was driven in part by the changing attitudes of our students. Students today want accommodation that better fits their needs, opting for city centre locations close to their campus, super-fast wifi, modern and stylish furnishings, and spacious living areas. The emergence of Generation Z will no doubt drive this demand for luxury accommodation even further. Traits of those born in this generation include being privacy conscious and digitally savvy, both of which make a Generation Z student the perfect candidate for a private apartment that’s fully equipped with everything they need to stay digitally connected.
Generation Z are, naturally, the generation that are most fearful over terrorism and extremism. This generation have grown up with terrorism from a very young age, which has left them feeling more apprehensive than other generations to spend time living in various locations around the world through fear of conflict. This cautious attitude could mean that more students than ever will be keen to stay in accommodation that they deem more ‘safe’, such as those with round the clock security, as opposed to shared student housing in more secluded and less affluent areas of the city.
Whilst the student experience was once a time of hedonism, experimentation and partying, this might not continue to be the case with the new generation of students. Generation Z have different attitudes towards alcohol and drugs. Unlike Millennials or those from Generation X, students from Generation Z may be more inclined to prioritise their career goals, preferring a night in with their studies over a wild night out. This type of attitude is another reason that the sociable shared housing. and hall parties that were once so popular with UK students could see a big decline as the demand for more private apartments grows higher.
All in all, it’s highly likely that Generation Z students will contribute to the growth of more high-quality student properties for years to come, making now the perfect time for investors to choose this type of property for their next venture.