The Manchester student property market is changing – are you prepared?


A combination of decreasing university applications and increasing demand for higher quality property is rapidly changing the student property market, but it needn’t be a problem if you’re prepared. Philip James Student manager, Neil Ryder, explains how we’re helping our landlords increase yields and decrease void periods in this otherwise challenging market…


“When MPs approved plans to allow universities to charge annual tuition fees of up to £9,000 we knew there was going to be significant fall-out in the student property market. It was the summer of 2010 and it was a troubling moment; the coalition had been in power for less than a year, the Liberal Democrats were reneging on their pledge to cap student fees and there were protests up and down the country, and especially here in Manchester.”


“Student property is one of Philip James’s cornerstones, so I knew we had to act fast. In the autumn of 2010 I met with a number of our long-term landlords and together we discussed how the market was changing and what we could do to keep everyone afloat. But it wasn’t that simple; not only were student numbers decreasing but we’d also noticed a sea-change in demand too. Students wanted better quality properties and they were prepared to pay for it.”


“Throughout 2011 and 2012 this change became more and more pronounced and by the beginning of 2013 our Philip James Student office in Withington saw a 30% increases in student lettings; fuelled solely by our new focus on premium-managed student properties.”



“Students who would in the past have moved into
digs are now choosing to commute to save money.
This has fuelled the decrease in numbers and increase
in wealthier students demanding quality homes”
Neil Ryder, Manager, Philip James Students

“We helped student landlords make the most of their investments by improving their properties. Manchester students now expect higher-quality properties with newly-plastered walls and modern furniture, good-quality carpets or laminate flooring, flat screen TVs and free broadband. Our landlords who were willing to provide these were the ones who let their properties easier, faster and for a premium rent. A good example of this is the increased yield witnessed by one of our long-term landlords at Greenbrook Property.”

“Philip James has managed my student property for the past five years and has always let it before Christmas. I have always felt that the agents prioritise my property because they manage it and find me the best possible tenants. Every year they recommend what work needs to be done on the property to keep it appealing to students, and as such, I have seen an increased yield each and every year” – Landlord, Greenbrook Property Ltd.


BEFORE AND AFTER: Landlords who renovate their properties are seeing faster lets, higher rents and quicker renewals


“But it’s not just landlords who are benefitting from improved properties and a top-notch management service. Our students love the quality flats and houses we offer and once they’ve rented a managed property from Philip James, they’re reluctant to rent a home that isn’t looked after by us. Manchester student Morgan, rents a four-bedroom house in Fallowfield”


“I have lived in a house managed by Philip James this year and think that the team has looked after me and my housemates excellently! Any repairs we have reported have been dealt with straight away. As I am an overseas student and couldn’t provide a guarantor, Philip James arranged a payment plan for me that suited us both” – Morgan, Fallowfield


Manchester Students Top 10 Requests

1. Flat-screen TVs
2. Free broadband
3. Help with repairs
4. Durable furniture
5. Leather sofas
6. Plastered walls, no wallpaper
7. Coffee machines
8. Blinds not curtains
9. Laminate flooring or new carpet
10. Security Alarms


“Despite all of the above, I still think it’s important to give students a good deal and provide an affordable service. Since we started student lettings six years ago we have always offered a “no admin fees” deal on our student properties and we’ll continue to do this from 2014 and beyond. Students are still living on tight budgets so the saving they make at Philip James can be significant.”


If you own student property in Manchester and think your current agent isn’t giving you 100% why not give me a call? Philip James is Manchester’s leading independent student property expert and we have a fast-growing list of satisfied landlords. Call me today, Neil Ryder, on 0161 434 5007 or email me and I’ll get straight back to you


Philip James Students,

412 Wilmslow Road,



M20 3BW
Telephone: 0161 434 5009


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