ANNUAL RENT RISES OF UP TO 10% MEANS STUDENTS COULD BE £600 A YEAR WORSE OFF

  • Oxford students living in private flat and house shares need to find an extra £600 a year following annual rent increases of 10%
  • Almost a third (32%) of rooms for rent in top university cities aren’t available to students
  • In parts of London and Edinburgh, five people are competing for every room available
  • Durham is the UK’s most ‘student friendly’ city for renting

London, UK – Increasing rents in some popular university cities mean students will be up to £600 a year worse off, according to flat and house share site SpareRoom.co.uk.

Oxford students living out of college will feel the hardest financial impact. Room rents in the city have risen by 10% in the past year, or £50 per month, with three people searching for every room available.

Students at Surrey University face rent increases of 9% – or £576 a year. Just 62% of rooms in the Guildford area are available to students, with four students searching for every room advertised.

Almost a third (32%) of rooms in existing house and flatshares in the UK’s top 30 university cities aren’t even available as some landlords are unwilling to let to students.

Students in Dundee and Durham have the best chances of finding student-friendly house shares, with 93% and 92% of rooms in the respective areas available to students. Durham is arguably the best city to be a student: rents in the city have decreased marginally over the past year, and demand for rooms is relatively low.

Students in Exeter and Southampton aren’t so lucky. In these cities, just 59% and 54% of rooms in house and flatshares are available to students.

The table below shows average room rents in 30 of the UK’s top university towns and cities, based on Q2 rental data for 2016 and 2015 from SpareRoom.co.uk:

Rank University   Location Ave monthly room rent Q2 2016 (£) Ave monthly room rent Q2 2015 (£) Annual % difference No. of people looking per room available Q2 2016 Current % of rooms available to students
1 Cambridge Cambridge £541 £509 6% 3.5 60
2 Oxford Oxford £557 £507 10% 3.2 64
3 St Andrews Kirkcaldy £339 £329 3% 1.8 67
4 Surrey Guildford £574 £526 9% 3.8 62
5 Loughborough Loughborough £350 £339 3% 1.2 77
6 Durham Durham £362 £367 -1% 0.9 92
7 Imperial College London SW7 £1,131 £1,086 4% 3.9 85
8 Lancaster Lancaster £371 £353 5% 0.9 82
9 Warwick Coventry £388 £369 5% 1.7 80
10 Bath Bath £448 £438 2% 3.2 62
11 Exeter Exeter £434 £417 4% 1.9 59
12 London School of Economics London WC2 £1,034 £1,094 -5% 5.2 86
13 Birmingham Birmingham £405 £413 -2% 3.1 63
14 UCL London WC1 £870 £833 4% 4.6 85
15 Coventry Coventry £388 £369 5% 1.7 80
16 Leeds Leeds £374 £353 6% 2.8 64
17 Southampton Southampton £436 £417 4% 2.5 54
18 City London EC1 £920 £904 2% 3.2 71
19 York York £400 £379 6% 2.4 63
20 Sussex Brighton £511 £492 4% 3.7 63
21 Edinburgh Edinburgh £469 £438 7% 5 70
22 Kent Canterbury £418 £422 -1% 1.9 81
22 UEA Norwich £401 £374 7% 2.4 62
24 Nottingham Nottingham £374 £358 4% 1.8 69
25 Glasgow Glasgow £390 £376 4% 3.9 75
26 Heriot-Watt Edinburgh £469 £438 7% 5 70
27 Dundee Dundee £323 £311 4% 1.6 93
28 Aston Birmingham £405 £413 -2% 3.1 63
29 SOAS London WC1 £870 £833 4% 4.6 85
30 Manchester Manchester £414 £385 7% 3.7 74

Source: SpareRoom.co.uk

Matt Hutchinson, director of SpareRoom.co.uk, comments: Students aren’t just battling rising rents, they’re also affected by a private rental market struggling to cope with demand. That means choosing where you go to uni can have a huge impact on your debt after you graduate.”

“The difference between rents for students at Imperial College in London, compared to those studying at St. Andrew’s in Scotland, is a massive £792 a month. Over a three-year course the difference is eye watering.”

“Even choosing Durham over Oxford could save you more than £7,000 in rent over three years.”