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Furnished Lets - do the premiums justify the initial cost?

The Furnished versus Unfurnished debate in the rental sector has been going on for years but new research attempts to quantify the premiums attached to properties that are let with furniture.

The exercise, conducted by Manor Interiors, looks particularly at accommodation in key university locations. 

It shows that:


- The average student could be facing as much as £1,796 to adequately furnish a rental home while at university;

- However, a furnished property does carry a renal premium and Cardiff is home to the highest where the average rent price is £746 per month but the furnished premium is an average of seven per cent. This equates to an additional cost of around £52 a week, or £627 a year, to rent a furnished home instead of an unfurnished home;

- But when this is measured against the cost of kitting out an unfurnished home (£1,796), a fully-furnished flat is actually the more affordable option, saving Cardiff students an average of £1,169;

- In Coventry, the premium for a furnished flat is 15 per cent or £1,283 a year. Compared to the average cost of furnishing a home, this is a saving of £513 a year;

- In Edinburgh, a premium of 10 per cent makes furnished homes an average of £1,320 a year more expensive. When measured against the cost of furnishing a home, this is a saving of £476 a year;  

- When it comes to fully furnished rented homes, at the top of the table is Edinburgh where 94 per cent of the rental homes currently on the market are fully furnished;

- In Coventry, 92 per cent of the market is fully furnished; in Birmingham and Newcastle, it’s 91 per cent; in Leeds it’s 89 per cent; Cardiff 88 per cent; and Sheffield 84 per cent of the rental market is fully furnished.



Farhan Malik, chief executive of Manor Interiors, says: “Students want ease and convenience when moving into a new home - they don’t want to have to bother going out and buying all of the furniture they require, especially if they’re only planning on being in the home for a year, or maybe two. But they also don’t want to spend unnecessary money, which means they’re often tempted by what seems like the cheaper option of unfurnished homes.

“This data tells us that, over the course of a year, it’s actually cheaper, sometimes much cheaper, to opt for a fully furnished home. Even if you live in Birmingham where the average saving of £13 a year seems insignificant - many of us have been students before, and by the end of the year, an additional £13 in the current account is actually a pretty big deal, it’s a night in the pub, for example.

“Furthermore, when it comes to moving out of shared student housing, having to dismantle and move all of that furniture you’ve brought can be a real pain, especially if it was purchased as a household of people now going their separate ways.”


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