Housing Specification Blog

Student house prices go through the roof

August 15, 2012 Alexandra Blakeman Housing Issues

Today, thousands of 18 year olds are nervously awaiting their A Level results which are due to be released tomorrow (16/8/12). Whilst they’re busy worrying about the difference between an A and a B grade, no doubt parents are more concerned about the escalating costs of university life.

According to a report in the Guardian, student living is up 25% year on year in some parts of the country. This is also the first year in which some universities will be asking students to pay £9,000 for tuition fees.

So how does this affect housing? Unsurprisingly, London is the most expensive part of the country for students to rent property. Landlords are asking for an average of £107 per week in the Capital, according to research carried out by accommodationforstudents.com.

Unite, the UK’s biggest student housing corporation, are charging £349 per week for one of their studio rooms at Greencoat House in Kingston upon Thames. Whilst this is an exception, the question has to be asked – who is affording this kind of sum?

Greencoat House in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey is one of the most expensive student complexes in the country. Click on image for original source.

According to the research carried out by accommodationforstudents.com, students are more likely to prioritise housing quality and location over price:

“When asked about rents, 12% said they would only pay £60-80 a week, 60% would pay £80 – £100 a week, 25% said they would pay £100-120 and 3% would stretch to £120-140, but no one would pay more.”

Guildford (£93.46 pw) and Exeter (£93.42 pw) came out as the second and third most expensive towns for student accommodation. Student house prices are said to reflect the current desirability of attending certain universities. In a previous blog post, I looked at Exeter’s newest development Opal 1. To read the post click here.

The cheapest university town to live in is Pontypridd in South Wales, where you might expect to pay around £45.94 a week for a rented room.  Stoke-on-Trent, Middlesbrough, Crewe and Stockton where amongst the other towns.

There have been reports recently which claim that landlords are asking over the odds for badly maintained property. University is often the first time that young people live away from home. Landlords always  have and will continue to take advantage of students’ naivety and inexperience when it comes to house hunting. This is quite difficult to overcome, but with rising rental costs students should be treated like any other paying tenant.

Perhaps you’re going away to university this September, or you’re going back for another year. We’d love to hear about your renting experiences. Please leave your comments below.

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