Rents higher than students are willing to pay in a third of university towns
Students in a third of the 25 largest university towns are in for a shock this term as the amount of rent they are willing to pay is lower than the average on offer in their town, according to flatsharing website easyroommate.co.uk.
Research carried out by easyroommate.co.uk showed that the maximum amount of rent students are willing to pay each month stands at £411 on average, 15% higher than the average rent of £357 currently being charged by student landlords. However, on a regional basis, average rents in eight of the largest 25 student towns are higher than the maximum students are willing to pay.
For example, the average student maximum in Exeter is £300 but the average rent is £385. In Plymouth the figures are £301 and £340 respectively. This compares to Bath where students appear to be prepared to pay £406 while the average rent is only £329.
The average cost of renting a room in a student flatshare across the major British university towns has risen 8.5% over the last 12 months from £329 per month to £357. The growth between 2011 and 2012 was 5%.
This higher rate of growth has been at least partly spurred on 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. But in 2013, university applications have grown 7.2% to 433,330 – their highest level in the last five years.
Rishi Patel, manager of easyroommate.co.uk, said: “Rents for student flatshares are now at their highest level in five years which is increasing the financial pressure being felt by many students across the country who also have to deal with higher fees and more expensive day-to-day living costs.”
In easyroommate.co.uk’s 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 just under 16% now live in a smaller property.
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.
On a regional basis, 68% of the UK’s largest university towns have seen student rents rise over the last twelve months. The biggest rises have been seen in Coventry (18.6%), London (13.3%) and York (10.5%). The largest falls in average rent have been seen in Bath (11.2%), Cardiff (10.5%) and Bristol (9.3%).Tagged in: Students
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