Student rents climb in time for new university year

Student rents climb in time for new university year

Average student flatshare rents exceed the maximum that students are willing to pay in one in three university towns.

New research out this morning from website easyroommate says that the average student rent is now £357 a month – 8.5% higher than at the start of the last academic year, when the average student rent was £329 per month.  

This is a much higher pace of growth compared to between 2011 and 2012 when student rents rose 5%.
The hike in rents has been spurred by extra demand created by higher student numbers. In 2012 the number of university applicants fell 6.3% compared to the year before to 404,000. This year, university applications have grown 7.2% to 433,330 – their highest level in the last five years..

The rise in applications comes despite a rise in the average tuition fee being charged by universities. The average tuition fee across the UK is now £8,500 per year, up from £8,385 in 2012.

In the survey of over 1,100 students, 77% said they live in private rental accommodation. Over half of all students (54%) say they have seen their monthly rent rise over the last 12 months.

The rise in the cost of renting as a student has had varying effects on the living arrangements and lifestyle of students across the country. Over a fifth of students now share with more people compared to last year in order to save costs, while over a quarter (28%) now have less money to spend in their social life as a result of rent rises.

In a separate survey of 1,118 student landlords, 27% said they had increased rents over the last 12 months. Only 6% said they had lowered rents compared to last year. When asked what had driven the change in rents 15% felt it was the demand and supply imbalance with a shortage of rental stock and increased demand from students, while a further 15% stated they had felt a rise in the cost of mortgages which needed to be reflected in rental prices. 
The biggest rises in student rents have been seen in Coventry (18.6%), London (13.3%) and York (10.5%). The largest falls in average rent have been in Bath (11.2%), Cardiff (10.5%) and Bristol (9.3%).

London is the most expensive place for students to rent at £567 per room, with Cambridge costing £450 and Oxford £398. Newcastle is £305, and Sheffield £292. Cheapest is Swansea at £260.