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The growth of the serviced apartments sector

apartment by river

Figures from data specialists, STR Global and the Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP) has revealed that the serviced apartments sector is enjoying strong growth in the UK.

As the industry continues to mature and awareness grows amongst business buyers and travellers, both occupancies and optimism in the sector are growing too. A combination of data collected from STR, ASAP and the most recent edition of the Global Serviced Apartments Industry Report (GSAIR) has revealed the extent of this growth.

  • There are now 748,437 serviced apartment units worldwide in a total of 9,875 different locations
  • Last year in London alone, occupancies reached 77.8% which was a 10.2% increase compared to the same period the year before. Throughout the rest of the UK, occupancies have grown by 2.7% up to 72.2%
  • In the UK, 77% of British business travellers are now staying in serviced apartments up to five times a year for trips of up to seven nights. 79% of these travellers stated that they prefer serviced apartments to hotels
  • 48% of people who responded to the surveys said that they prefer serviced apartments to hotels. The top reasons business travellers gave for this include a competitive market rate (75.4%), being able to cook their own meals and entertain (71.6%), convenience (70%), price/quality (68.8%), privacy (66.6%), cost (63.8%) and because of the overall serviced apartment environment (58.3%)
  • Apartment usage for assignment/project work is growing in 72.73% of companies
  • Even distribution is widening and 75% of serviced apartment operators now receive bookings from online travel agents
  • 12% of operators say that they are planning to increase the number of apartments they supply in existing locations over the next two years, predominantly in Europe and Asia
  • The global supply of serviced apartments has increased by 14%

Overall, the figures show that the serviced apartment market has doubled over the past 12 years and it has been forecasted to double in size again over the next four years. In fact, the recent edition of the Global Serviced Apartments Industry Report has also revealed that demand for serviced apartments is growing faster than operators can supply them.

Industry experts say that one of the many reasons for this significant increase is because bookers have realised that serviced apartments are a good, if not better option for the increasingly-mobile global workforce who is driving business travel and relocation activity.

apartment by river 2

Another reason for this is because there has been a decline in the number of people taking permanent positions in companies and a growth in project and assignment work. This means that workers are more likely to travel around from location-to-location and may require temporary accommodation on a more long-term basis than just a week here and there. When you’re away from home for a fairly long period of time, having your own area is a lot more desirable than being confined to the space and restrictions of a hotel.

As well as this, property professionals, hospitality providers and entrepreneurs are realising that the extended stay market can provide excellent returns on investment and therefore want a piece of the action.