8 of Australia’s Best Student Accommodation Developments


The Australian student accommodation market continues to go from strength to strength as industry consolidation and institutional investment transforms the once ‘cottage’ sector into a genuine alternative asset class.

Australia is the world's third most visited destination for international higher education students. According to the Knight Frank 2014 student accommodation report, full time student enrolments in Australian universities has increased every year since 2001 at an average of 4.7 per cent.

As we have reported, international student numbers are increasing each year with a large number of students originating from the Asia-Pacific region.

Here we look at 8 of the best student accommodation developments across Australia. Monash University Student Housing Comprising two 5-storey buildings, each containing 300 studio units, the Monash University Student Housing development in Clayton sets the benchmark for student accommodation in Australia.

Each wing of the student accomodation is grouped in clusters of 30 studios per level. Studios contain a kitchenette, ensuite and living/sleeping space.

At 20 square metres, the studio module was refined to create a sense of spaciousness incorporating extensive operable floor to ceiling windows and exposed ceilings 2.7 metres in height with services contained at central risers.

In attempt to meet the need for a sense of community, the buildings are flanked around a central, common courtyard that serves as a meeting point and entry into each building.

This student accomodation project has achieved a 5 star Green Star As-Designed rating and is in the process of assessment for an As Built 5 Star rating. It has been identified as the new benchmark for the National and State Government for Affordable Housing.

At a construction cost of $65 million, the 23,000 square metre development was completed in November 2011 by a joint venture between Leighton Holdings Subsidiary, Broad Constructions and APM Group.

The project was commissioned by Monash University and supported through the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS), a Federal and State-Government sponsored scheme that subsidises units to be rented out at 20 per cent below market rate.


RELATED ARTICLE: Inside BVN's Monash University Student Housing

UniLodge D1

Unilodge D, University of Melbourne's Student Accomodation by Piccolo
Unilodge D1

UniLodge D1 is located in Carlton within the University of Melbourne campus precinct and 100 metres from the RMIT campus.

The student accomodation contains contemporary studios equipped with kitchen and bathroom facilities. Every apartment is fully air-conditioned and has high-speed internet access.

Developers Piccolo handled the nine-storey project with ecologically sustainable design in mind. It was the first student accommodation in Victoria to receive a six-star energy rating.


Melbourne-based architectural firm RotheLowman stressed the ecologically sustainable approach to the project.

“There’s a great opportunity to really make a difference with ESD, and D1 is a perfect example of this. From five-star rated appliances, to water-saving shower heads and toilets, to double glazing in strategically located windows, the building has been designed from the ground up with the environment in mind,” said RotheLowman Director Shane Rothe.

UniLodge owns and operates student accommodation across the major cities of Australia and New Zealand with an emphasis on central and convenient locations.

Iglu Central

Iglu Central is located in Chippendale, minutes from Sydney’s central business district. It is purpose designed student accommodation.

Built with a contemporary feel, natural light filters through the building. A central common area allows for student interaction and a BBQ. The living area contains a complete kitchen, full HD television, air-conditioning and heating and couches.

Each student bedroom contains a king single bed, en-suite bathroom, study desk and chair, bookshelves, wardrobes and full mirror.

Iglu is a relatively recent addition to the sector and currently has developments underway in Sydney and Brisbane.

Student Accomodation at Iglu Central, Chippendale, Sydney.

Urbanest Carlton

Urbanest Carlton is located on Berkeley Street and one block from the University of Melbourne.

Having only opened in February 2014, the brand new apartments come with utilities, internet, and contents insurance. Study spaces are encouraged with study rooms, a games room and a rooftop terrace. The facilities are advertised as having state-of-the-art security systems and a 24/7 onsite team.

As well as their Carlton location, Urbanest runs student accommodation facilities in Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney. A new location, Melbourne Central, will be opening in February this year.

Student Accomodation at Urbanest, Carlton, Melbourne.

UniLodge D2

Much like it's sister building D1, D2 student accomodation is built in the heart of the Melbourne university scene in the RMIT campus precinct.

The one and two bedroom apartments feature floor to ceiling glass windows and balconies. Communal interaction is encouraged through a large ground floor common room, with big screen televisions, student studying areas and café-style seating.

D2 was also developed by Piccolo and designed by RotheLowman. The apartments range from 20 to 53 square metres. The apartments were designed with a contemporary theme and security in mind.

"Security is very important to these families, so we have included electronic swipe cards for the entrance, restricted floor access and 24-hour security cameras,” developer Michael Piccolo said.

Student Accomodation at UniLodge D2, RMIT Campus, Melbourne.

Link2 Student Living

Link2 Student Living is located in Sydney and designed to cater to International Students studying English.

Moving to another country to attend university can be both daunting and stressful, especially for those who are not yet entirely fluent in the country’s national language. Students at Linkare able to adjust to their new lifestyle by being provided contact with other International Students.

All accommodation is located in cosmopolitan areas nearby English language colleges and the central business district, offering students minimised travel distance with an opportunity to explore without fear of getting lost.

Link2 offers full house cleaning three times a week, iMac access, air conditioning, free unlimited Wi-Fi, swipe card access, 24/7 access to management support and much more.

International Student Accomodation Link2, Sydney.


Uniresort is located in Mt Gravatt, Brisbane and caters for both domestic and international students.

Amongst the 64 apartments on offer (ranging between four and six rooms) students will have access to a sauna, spas, tennis court, pool, steam room, gym and a high speed internet connection. There is onsite security and rooms and apartments are lockable.

This impressive accommodation is conveniently located near universities, public transport and major shopping centres.

Rooms available include bunk apartments, classic apartment, deluxe apartment and studio apartment.

Student Accomodation at Uniresort, Mt Gravatt, Brisbane.

New Proposal: Former Salvation Army and Backpacker Hostel, Surry Hills

Private property developer Mohammad Tariq, will develop a 6-storey student accommodation facility in Surry Hills, Sydney.

The development is located on a former Salvation Army and backpacker hostel site. It will comprise 93 rooms, a manager’s flat and a retail space.

The project has an estimated value of $10 million and fronts Commonwealth and Reservoir Streets and Beauchamp Lane in the inner-city Sydney suburb.

Tariq bought the Surry Hills site in 1995 for $850,000.

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