Thousands of student flats coming to Cardiff in high-rise boom | CPS Homes

Thousands of student flats coming to Cardiff in high-rise boom

Student Castle, CardiffCardiff attracts many thousands of students to the city every year, and student accommodation is truly booming in the capital city. In years gone by, a student renting in Cardiff would typically have to find a small bedroom in privately-shared accommodation within a terraced or detached house. 

Those days are fading away, as over the last few years developers have been quick to jump on the high-rise bandwagon, and we can see plenty of investment from them in the Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) market.

21 major student property developments underway in total

In the last three years, 21 major student property developments have commenced one way or another. Many are open, and this new style of student property can’t go unnoticed, as they have already transformed a large part of the Cardiff skyline. It appears that they will continue doing so, with plenty of other major student property developments currently under construction, and many others being considered for approval, such as the 17-storey student accommodation bloc at Bradley Court.

Approximately 250 metres is all that separates 13 of these developments around the busy Newport Road/City Road junction, just on the outskirts of Cardiff City centre. Six of these are already open, offering exclusive student accommodation to over 1300 university-goers.

Several thousand student flats granted permission

Approval has also been granted by planners for another seven developments bringing a further 2,696 student beds to Cardiff. But it doesn’t stop there, as on top of that, another seven developments are awaiting planning decisions. If they are all given the go-ahead, then an extra 2,978 beds can be added to the total.

Student accommodation is also set to be put in place with the new bus station that is being built in the centre of Cardiff, and when this is added to the mix, it will mean Cardiff could potentially be home to 7000 new student flats in just three years. This is without including the number of flats located in older private rentals that are already dotted around the Welsh capital.

Why are so many high-rise student flats being built in Cardiff?

According to Dr Julie Rugg, a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Housing Policy at the University of York, there are two key reasons as to why so many high-rise student flats are being built in Cardiff.

Firstly, high-rise development blocks are cheaper to build. Student housing is not classified as residential housing or housing in multiple occupation, but is instead treated as “sui generis”  - its own unique type - meaning councils have more freedom to negotiate planning policies or to impose standards.

Secondly, it is a cheap and easy way to manage a block of multiple flats, with substantial returns on offer, making it a lucrative financial option for developers. The tower blocks use the same type of boiler, windows, wiring etc. in each block, enabling investors to take advantage of economy of scale.

Therefore, it’s unlikely the high-rise student accommodation boom will be slowing any time soon.

At CPS Homes estate agents, we’re proud to say that we’re Cardiff’s largest private student accommodation letting agent, and we have student properties available to rent in many student-centric locations across the city, such as Cathays, Roath, Heath, Adamsdown and more. So, if you’re a student in Cardiff looking for accommodation, we’re sure to have something to suit you. Visit our Woodville Road branch in Cathays to book your viewing today, call us on 02920 668585, or email us on  We’re excited to help you find your perfect student accommodation.

27 October 2017


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