New university year see's student rents climb

iStock_000026544438XSmallThis year's growth in student rent has been much quicker compared to the previous year, growing by 8.5% compared to the 5% seen in 2012.

New research by website easyroommate paints a disquieting picture for student renters with average student flathshare rents exceeding what students are prepared to pay in one in three university towns.  The average student rent is now up to £357 per month - significantly higher than at the start of the last academic year when the average student rent sat at a monthly rate of £329.

Rising rent, rising student numbers

The upsurge in rents has seemingly been prompted by a growth in demand due to higher student numbers.  In 2012 university application numbers fell, conversely university applications grew by 7.2% in 2013 to 433,330 - the highest level seen in five years.

77% of the 1,100 students in easyroommate's survey live in private rental accommodation and over half say they have seen their monthly rent rise in the last 12 months.  This rise has seen a fifth of students now share accommodation with more people compared to the previous year in order to save costs, while just over a quarter say they now have less finances spare for their social life.

Landlord survey

In another survey involving 1,118 student landlords, only 27% claim to have raised rents over the last 12 months while, expectedly, only a minority (6%) have lowered rents.  When asked the reasons behind the change in rent 15% felt it was disparity in supply and demand with a lack of available student rental accommodation and increased demand from students.  A further 15% stated they had seen an increase in the cost of mortgages which forced the rise in rental prices.

Coventry (18.6%) saw the biggest rise in student rents, London (13.3%) was second and York (10.5%) a close third.  The largest fall in average rent was seen in Bath (11.2%).

London is still the most expensive place to rent for students averaging out at £567 per room.  The cheapest is Swansea sitting at £260.

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