The latest research from online business Accommodation for Students reveals average weekly student rents have increased from £77.04 last year to £79.42 for this year’s start of term.
But there are regional differences and some students will be quids in. For example, rents in many Northern cities with major institutions stay the same or fall, whilst they continue to rise in the South. Also, student accommodation in the North is not only cheaper but is more likely to include bills, the availability of which has more than doubled since 2008.
The research shows that average rental value in private halls of residence has risen 1.5% and on average they are 63% higher in rental value than student houses, £129.45 compared with £79.42.
Overall the average rise is being driven predominately by soaring rents in the South. Accommodation for Students (AFS) bases its UK wide table of rents on over 125,500 properties in 92 locations.
In line with the previous three year average, there is a notable North/South divide in both rental price and ‘bills inclusive’ options, that is any property that includes at least one bill. A recent survey by AFS revealed 70% of students prefer an inclusive bills option to help them keep track of their finances, the availability of which has more than doubled since 2008.
Whilst such stock is specific to individual rental markets and does not follow a specific pattern, research shows that there is an average addition of £8.08 in the South but £5.51 in the North for this option.
Despite a modest 2% fall, London continues to lead the way with an average rental value of £129 per week, followed in second place by Egham at £115. The third most expensive location, Newport, has seen this year’s biggest hike with rents doubling from £56 to a massive £113. Winchester and Middlesex also weigh in with average rents over £100 per week.
In some of the country’s most sought after northern university locations, including Manchester at £74, Leeds also at £74, Sheffield at £69 and Nottingham at £76, rents have stayed the same or even fallen and all sit more than 6% below the national weekly average. However, there are some exceptions such as Middlesborough, which has risen by 18%, and Salford, up 15%. This year’s best value locations for student rental accommodation are Walsall, Stockton and Wolverhampton with average weekly rents of £48, £49 and £52 respectively.
In contrast, those that have seen some of the greatest increases are all based in the South with Luton up 20% from £71 in 2012 to £91 in 2013. Chatham, home to the University of Kent, has seen its average student weekly rent increase 19%, from £73 to £87, Bournemouth is up 16% to £90, and Bath and Southampton have...