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16th Nov 2018
Along with sky-high tuition fees, many students now complain about sky-high accommodation costs - especially in cities like London. A quick glance at the figures in these cities would show that they clearly have a point. But new research by student accommodation portal StuRents.com shows that whilst students in London may be shelling out a lot for their accommodation, they are in fact getting a great deal in comparison to non-students living in the same areas. The research also reveals however, that many students in traditionally cheaper areas are quietly being charged huge premiums for their housing - up to 36% more in some cases.
Loughborough loses out
Students in Loughborough pay on average £80.21 per person per week (pppw) for accommodation. While this might seem reasonable in comparison to more expensive cities, StuRents.com's research shows that students in Loughborough are in fact being charged a 36.1% premium for their rooms, as the average price in the area for all properties is £58.94 pppw.
Northern price hike
Apart from Loughborough, the ten cities with the highest premiums lie north of the Midlands, and aside from the Welsh city of Wrexham, these northern offenders are all English (and the majority of them lie in the North East). As the table shows, landlords in the cities of Durham (31.8%), Lincoln (27.6%) and Huddersfield (27.4%) are charging students huge premiums to live there.
Strangely, this phenomenon doesn't travel north of the border. In fact, by looking at the data it turns out that students in all of the main Scottish student cities are (on average) renting property at a relative discount.
Saving in the south
Whilst the majority of premiums seem to be experienced in the north of England, the research shows that students in the south of England are enjoying accommodation at a discount (compared to the prices paid by locals in the same areas).
Reading is the clear winner here with students paying an average of £80.78 pppw for accommodation in areas where the overall average price is £132.75 pppw - a whopping 39.2% discount. Reading is then followed by Oxford where students enjoy a 32.63% discount on housing which is then followed by London, where students may be surprised to find out that even though they are paying £202.40 pppw on average, they are in fact paying at a discounted rate of 32.4% over non-students - who have to shell out £299.40 pppw on average to live in the same areas.
Students feel the squeeze
Looking at the 10 cities with the largest premiums the average price for non-student residents is £63.04 pppw. In the 10 cities with the largest discounts however, the average price for non-student residents is more than double this, at £143.64 pppw. Something that seems readily apparent from the data therefore is that in cities where prices are low, students are being charged premiums as, clearly, they are happy to pay them. In cities where accommodation can be almost prohibitively expensive for students however, the prices have clearly been forced down - most likely out of necessity.
Tom Walker, Co-Founder of StuRents.com comments:
"Analysis of StuRents' rental data has unveiled a new side to regional variances in the student housing market, indicating that the crown for the most expensive city on a student rental basis is by no means clear-cut. Clearly value is relative, so comparing inter-city student rental prices purely on an absolute basis is perhaps a little one-dimensional.
The most fascinating outcome of StuRents' in-house research is that the story of the most expensive student towns, as defined by which towns have the highest average per-person-per-week rent, is incomplete. In towns and cities where the mainstream rental market suffers from upwards pressure as a result of a burgeoning demand from young professionals and out-of-reach house prices, the student rental sector seems to trade at a discount to the market average. Conversely, the general consensus in the northern half of England seems to be that students represent a more premium demographic, and rental prices are adjusted upwards to accommodate this."
Notes to Editors:
 Based on StuRents data and analysis of 25,572 student properties (excluding purpose-built accommodation) and 127,504 non-student properties across 51 UK cities.
Student house price averages were calculated by taking the mean of all student properties in the sample in a given area, excluding data lying outside two standard deviations of the mean.
The overall average property price in a given area was then calculated based on postcode prefixes (e.g. DH1, AB24, W2) in which the student properties are located.
This was then weighted in order to reflect the number of properties per postcode prefix in the student sample.
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