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Student housing shortage sees rents soar

Student rents have increased by as much as 10% over the past 12 months amid a severe housing shortage across the country, according to new research.

High tenant demand is pushing rental prices higher, especially in some of the larger towns and cities, including Cambridge, Surrey, Oxford and Edinburgh where five students are reportedly competing for each room available.

The housing shortage in the student sector is of particular concern in the south of the England and popular university towns, as well as London, where there are a number of large universities which naturally means that there is high demand for housing.

Part of the problem is the fact that students are increasingly having to compete with professionals for rooms, with the research by Spareroom.com revealing that almost a third of rooms for rent in top university towns are not currently available to students.

“Students aren’t just battling rising rents, they’re also affected by a private rental market struggling to cope with demand,” said Matt Hutchinson, director of SpareRoom.co.uk.

Hutchinson pointed out that the regional disparities in rent values means that where a student opts to go to university can have a major impact on their level of debt post-graduation.

He continued: “The difference between rents for students at Imperial College in London, compared to those studying at St. Andrew’s in Scotland, is a massive £792 a month. Over a three-year course the difference is eye watering.

“Even choosing Durham over Oxford could save you more than £7,000 in rent over three years.”

Click here to discover the student towns and cities that offer the highest buy-to-let returns. 

The table below shows average room rents in 30 of the UK’s top university towns and cities, based on Q2 rental data for 2016 and 2015 from SpareRoom.co.uk:

Rank

University

 

 

Location

Ave monthly room rent Q2 2016 (£)

Ave monthly room rent Q2 2015 (£)

Annual % difference

No. of people looking per room available Q2 2016

Current % of rooms available to students

1

Cambridge

Cambridge

£541

£509

6%

3.5

60

2

Oxford

Oxford

£557

£507

10%

3.2

64

3

St Andrews

Kirkcaldy

£339

£329

3%

1.8

67

4

Surrey

Guildford

£574

£526

9%

3.8

62

5

Loughborough

Loughborough

£350

£339

3%

1.2

77

6

Durham

Durham

£362

£367

-1%

0.9

92

7

Imperial College

London SW7

£1,131

£1,086

4%

3.9

85

8

Lancaster

Lancaster

£371

£353

5%

0.9

82

9

Warwick

Coventry

£388

£369

5%

1.7

80

10

Bath

Bath

£448

£438

2%

3.2

62

11

Exeter

Exeter

£434

£417

4%

1.9

59

12

London School of Economics

London WC2

£1,034

£1,094

-5%

5.2

86

13

Birmingham

Birmingham

£405

£413

-2%

3.1

63

14

UCL

London WC1

£870

£833

4%

4.6

85

15

Coventry

Coventry

£388

£369

5%

1.7

80

16

Leeds

Leeds

£374

£353

6%

2.8

64

17

Southampton

Southampton

£436

£417

4%

2.5

54

18

City

London EC1

£920

£904

2%

3.2

71

19

York

York

£400

£379

6%

2.4

63

20

Sussex

Brighton

£511

£492

4%

3.7

63

21

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

£469

£438

7%

5

70

22

Kent

Canterbury

£418

£422

-1%

1.9

81

22

UEA

Norwich

£401

£374

7%

2.4

62

24

Nottingham

Nottingham

£374

£358

4%

1.8

69

25

Glasgow

Glasgow

£390

£376

4%

3.9

75

26

Heriot-Watt

Edinburgh

£469

£438

7%

5

70

27

Dundee

Dundee

£323

£311

4%

1.6

93

28

Aston

Birmingham

£405

£413

-2%

3.1

63

29

SOAS

London WC1

£870

£833

4%

4.6

85

30

Manchester

Manchester

£414

£385

7%

3.7

74

Source: SpareRoom.co.uk

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