In our recent landlords' rental market update, we told you how Cardiff's three universities had all announced they will take a blended learning approach to the upcoming academic year, meaning courses will be delivered partly on campus and partly online.
The universities have now released further information on what students can expect for the 2020/2021 year, which includes;
We'll overcome the pandemic sooner or later, but it has forced us into embracing many new ways and technologies that we’re sure to take forward into post-COVID times, such as working from home, conducting meetings virtually and ordering the weekly 'big shop' online.
Might we see universities pick out their own ‘best bits’ from what is going to be an unconventional year ahead and continue to implement them for years to come? We’ve already heard from a number of students who like the idea of accessing lecture content at a time of their choosing, which surely won't go unnoticed by universities.
There's an argument to say campuses never need to return to the same levels of footfall they once had. Some will dispute that, but you only have to look at how the internet has mopped up so many other sectors and industries in recent times. Why won't university life succumb to online reliance next?
If it does, then what does it mean for student housing?
The truth is, nobody knows what university life will look post-pandemic, not even the universities themselves. Much like they did for this coming year, we suspect they will leave it until very close to the start of the 2021/2022 term before releasing details.
What we do know for certain is that the next 12 months are set to be very different for universities, students, landlords and letting agents alike.
Thankfully, the lettings market is incredibly resilient and capable of resisting a recession as long as landlords are prepared to adapt.
For now, that means making sure properties are looking at their absolute best within photos and videos because in-person viewings will be limited for the foreseeable future. If numbers do drop by 5-10%, don't be the one of the few that go empty.