Africa’s largest online student accommodation marketplace has reported a massive undersupply of suitable accommodation for the student market, particularly in cities including Durban, Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth and Pretoria. Alexandria Procter from DigsConnect.com says that with the ongoing return to relative normality, students are back in the lecture halls, putting increased pressure on accommodation options in the areas surrounding tertiary education campuses.
She says that student accommodation has slowly emerged as one of the most exciting real estate trends in South Africa and with the current levels of demand, the opportunity exists for current landlords and future investors to get involved. “There is currently a massive shortage in student accommodation and whilst big accommodation providers are upping the ante on their capacity, a massive opportunity exists for private landlords to reap the rewards of the undersupplied demand – specifically in smaller towns and cities.”
She says that platforms like DigsConnect.com exist to link potential landlords and students, in much the same safe, secure way as the likes of Airbnb. “Students are more often than not digitally native and start their search for accommodation on the internet – usually leading them directly to DigsConnect.com,” says Procter. “We have successfully matched over 92,000 landlords and tenants to date, generating tens of millions of rands in lease value for landlords.”
Procter says that the benefits of letting to a student include;
– The yield you achieve with a student let is far higher
– In many instances, it is a parent or guardian paying the monthly rental to keep their child in safe accommodation, reducing the risk of non payment
– Student tenants provide a guaranteed 10 month rental contract leaving your property unoccupied over the sought-after holiday period when lucrative short term rentals abound.
“Demand is currently far outstripping supply and many of our landlords have lamented that they wish they had more stock available.” She says that accommodation ideally needs to be as close to a campus as possible, not only for access for classes and facilities, but also because the campus is the hub of student life.
Procter invites potential landlords to visit the platform and explore the options, “listing on DigsConnect.com costs nothing, is risk free and takes approximately 10 minutes.”