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Student rents flatline after surge in purpose built accommodation

Data from a student accommodation specialist firm shows average rents across many cities are stuck at around a 20-year average of £79 per week. 

And the firm - Accommodation for Students - says this is good news for students but means landlords have to work harder to secure student tenants.

Currently the average price for student accommodation is £86 per week but if London is removed - where its buoyant market commands an average room rent of £187 - the UK average would be £79. 


The fact that the £79 figure is no better than the 20-year average shows that in the majority of UK cities the growth in purpose built student accommodation has severely curbed rental increases.

The firm says cities like Wolverhampton, Bolton, Hull and Dundee have 20-year average weekly rent costs for students of only £62, £63, £65 and £66 respectively.  

At the opposite end of the scale are more expensive locations like Brighton (£106), Guildford (£111) London (£115) and Kingston (£117).

Even cities with highly popular universities such as Birmingham (£70), Newcastle (£74) and Sheffield (£75) have all offered great value over the last 20 years.

Simon Thompson, director of Accommodation for Students, says: “Analysing rents over this [20 year] period demonstrates a vibrant market, where at one end of the spectrum there are properties on the market for £900 per week - Chapter Spitalfields - but students can also secure some very reasonably priced accommodation elsewhere.” 

AFS claims that following major upgrades to its portal, it has seen the number of enquiries through the site increase by 51 per cent year on year.

  • Paul Smithson

    But how much is the purpose built accommodation, as I understand in lots of places this has reached saturation point and some blocks are empty.

  • S l
    • S l
    • 17 July 2019 10:21 AM

    Yes because they are targetting overseas rich kids with high rental of £800-1200 a month. Most local, I mean UK students are more savvy and rent from PRS

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    I work in the Manchester area specifically student accommodation and we have seen the new purpose built blocks have taken a toll on the PRS. The local authority had this as a plan over 10 years ago. Move students to the centre and the outlying areas they wanted to be more family/proper communities. Allowing the planning for student accommodation new build in surrounding areas again planning stating not HMO and denying those who want the change C3 to C4 has achieved their goals. This is Causing a drop in rents and many landlords who have purchased in the last few years are being hit very hard. This will also reduce property values in certain areas. Exactly what the Council wished for.

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    Stepson is studying in St Andrews,a tired three bed flat located slightly out of centre is £1500 per month, Halls of Residence last year was £720 / month


    Scottish LLs are affected by indefinite tenancies that 'official' accommodation is not...


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