It seems that a fall in university applicants hasn't been enough to deter investors, with statistics released by CBRE revealing that investment in student accommodation hit a record high of £2.7 billion last year.

With the figure now almost eight times higher than that seen in 2009, it appears that landlords have been quick to cash in on the demand for housing among young adults in higher education who are living away from home.

"Although the number of student applications and acceptances fell in 2012, capital committed to the sector has grown dramatically over the last 12 months," said Jo Winchester, head of student advisory at CBRE.

"Our latest 2012 data shows that student housing is outperforming other asset classes by some margin, as it has delivered 9.6 per cent total returns in 2012.

"As an investment, student accommodation is relatively low risk and provides a secure income."

As the impressive yields associated with student housing remain attractive to investors and occupancy levels continue to be high, it is not surprising that the sector saw such a surge in 2012.

Indeed, the £2.7 billion that was invested last year was a 125 per cent increase on that seen in 2011.

With CBRE's report also detailing that the biggest transaction in 2012 was worth an estimated £840 million, it's clear that student accommodation is attracting more than just residential landlords.

But those who run smaller portfolios will inevitably be attracted by the strong potential for profit that can be found in letting to students, so it's likely that the sector will continue to see investment from a broad range of areas.

Yet given that students are notorious for poor housekeeping skills, it's vital that investors remember the importance of landlord insurance policies to cover the cost of any essential repairs or maintenance work.