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Russell Group university rents 27% higher than the rest of the UK’s top institutions

The UK’s leading student accommodation platform, UniHomes, has revealed how Russell Group (RG) universities have impacted the housing markets in which they are located, looking at the price of property, the cost of renting and the average rental yield available to buy-to-let landlords.


Professionally incorporated in 2007, the Russell Group represents 24 leading UK universities, all of which rank within the top 100 in the nation. They ensure each university can continue to deliver a top level of education through sustainable funding while promoting world leading UK research and innovation to change lives for the better.

Each university has a strong focus on its environmental impact, championing research into green technology while mitigating its environmental footprint.

Every year, an estimated 250,000 domestic and foreign students attend their universities, which are considered the Ivy League learning institutes of the UK, providing education from the very best minds and granting access to some of the best facilities available.

Russell Group Rental Costs

However, this high-end education does come at a cost. The research by UniHomes shows that the average cost of renting in postcodes home to one of these elite learning institutions is currently £296, 27% higher than the other 76 universities that rank within the UK’s top 100.

The least affordable campus from a student rental perspective is the Imperial College London with an average weekly rent of £720. In contrast, the most expensive alternative is the University of Surrey where the average weekly rent totals £476; 34% lower than Imperial College London.

In terms of the best level of rental affordability, it’s the University of Leeds with weekly rental costs averaging £160 per week. That said, this still comes in 78% higher than the most affordable non-RG university, the Teesside University, where rental costs average £90 a week.

Russell Group House Prices

Not only is the cost of renting in and around an RG university higher but so is the actual price of property.

The Russell Group claims to generate £87bn a year for the economy, supporting a quarter of a million jobs across the UK and this is clearly bringing a benefit to the housing market in their current locations.

With an average price of £479,410, house prices surrounding RG universities are 62% higher than other top UK universities.

Of course, both are dominated by London in terms of the highest cost of buying and the Imperial College London again ranks as the most expensive university for the Russell Group, while the City University of London is the most expensive alternative institution.

With an average house price of just over £2m, Imperial College is 146% more expensive than the average price of £818,245 surrounding the City University of London.

Russell Group Rental Yields

However, the Russell Group does rank behind the rest where one area is concerned. The average rental yield surrounding their universities currently comes in at just 3.2%, while the other 76 top UK universities offer landlords an average rental yield of 4.1%.

The University of Southampton is home to the highest Russell Group rental yields at 6.8%, although this still trails Teesside as the best investment location without RG status, where yields average as high as 7.5%.

Co-Founder of UniHomes, Phil Greaves, commented:

“There’s no doubt that Russell Group universities rank as some of the top destinations to head for higher education within the UK.

It’s not just educational benefit that comes via a Russell Group university though, with these institutions bringing a notable economic benefit to their respective areas. This investment and the jobs created also seems to have had a clear impact on the local housing market, with house prices surrounding these top institutions coming in higher than the rest.

However, the downside to this is a reduced level of rental affordability and those pursuing a degree at one of these prestigious institutions can expect to pay more in rental costs than elsewhere.”

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