House Hunting in Bradford 2020/2021

20/10/2020

House hunting in Bradford commenced on 3rd February 2020. Throughout February there were 967 searches carried out, with 1,905 adverts viewed. 12 students used the book a viewing function on the website. In March, the website saw 553 searches, down by 300 on the same period in 2019 and 1,413 adverts viewed.

It was expected that bookings/viewings would remain steady throughout March then slow towards the Easter holidays, however, due to Coronavirus there were a reduced number of students searching for accommodation since the University closed in March, and many had already returned home.

April saw 380 searches with 914 adverts viewed. Throughout May the website received 535 searches and 1235 adverts were viewed, over 300 higher than in April. This shows students are still currently looking for accommodation.

In 2019 activity throughout the whole of June showed 634 searches were carried out, resulting in 1573 advert views. In June 2020 we have seen 891 searches with 1,975 adverts viewed. This exceeds last years June figures by 257 searches and an increase of 402 adverts viewed, which equates to an increase of 40%.  41 book a viewing messages were also submitted to landlords via the adverts in June. July saw 682 searches with 1590 adverts viewed.

August started strongly with 769 searches and ended with a total of 983 searches being carried out. 2,469 adverts were viewed. This was a 27% decrease on the previous year.  48.9% of searches in August were carried out on a PC.

736 searches made and 1685 adverts were viewed in September. There was a significant increase in website usage mid month compared to the weeks prior, this may be because International students are now receiving their visas and are looking for accommodation. It is expected that many will arrive all throughout October & possibly even into early November. October has already seen 371 searches made, with a total of 1024 adverts being viewed during these searches.

Unipol staff were available for web-chats and phone calls at the virtual open day on 20th June, and 15th August and 3rd October virtual open days, and held a zoom event at the virtual freshers fayre. Marketing still continues on all the social media sites. The Housing Hub is set to re-open on 7th October in the new location of Student Central Library Walkway.

There is now less uncertainty of how the University will reopen and teach following the message below which was released early June.

Shirley Congdon, The Vice-Chancellor has said:

"We are committed to delivering outstanding education to all our students while continuing to offer a campus-centred experience through a blended approach to learning. This means that all our courses will be delivered through a combination of educational technologies and face-to-face teaching on campus."

The consensus from PBSA’s (Purpose built student accommodation) in Bradford is that although many feel they have weathered the Covid 19 storm relatively well, and are still taking bookings, numbers were down on last year. This drop for some was as high as 9%. Special offers and discounts helped attract students in the early part of the year before the University closed, and many had already arranged re-signs with their existing students before the pandemic hit.  Many international students live in PBSAs and with at least a 50% drop predicted for next academic year this could prove challenging in the months ahead.   

Bradford University have announced it will reopen in the last week of September, with teaching starting week commencing 5th October 2020.  This is 2 weeks later than previous years. It is very likely there will be a blended approach of online and face-to-face learning for at least the first semester, with the expectation that this will then be reviewed for the remainder of the academic year.