The UK’s first survey into the ownership structure of student housing has revealed that 53% of stock is in the hands of universities themselves, while the remainder is controlled by the private sector.

The study, by commercial property adviser GVA, analysed 70 universities in 27 towns in the UK – or 325,000 beds in around 1,000 student housing schemes.

Student housing developers UNITE and UPP made up a combined 35% of the private market.

Roger Lown, senior director and head of student housing at GVA, said: “Our research is the first of its kind in the UK. What it demonstrates is the extent of the private sector market share in student accommodation, a share that continues to grow.

“With the influx of overseas investment into this sector, particularly from the US, we expect the extent of privately owned student housing to grow beyond 50% of total market share well before 2016.”