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Students are flooding the rental market in these university towns

As higher education students look to secure a place to live ahead of the new academic year, the UK’s leading student accommodation platform, UniHomes, has revealed which areas are home to the highest level of tenant demand.

The Student Rental Hotspots Index by UniHomes looks at the UK’s top 100 universities, highlighting which are currently seeing the highest demand for student rentals. This demand is based on the number of student homes listed on the market that have already had a let agreed as a percentage of total stock available.

Hottest university towns

The research shows that when it comes to the university town with the highest levels of student rental demand, Chichester ranks top, with agents seeing a huge 92% of all properties listed already being snapped up by students.

Falmouth is the second hottest market for student rental demand, with 78% of all accommodation already taken. Both are relatively small university towns which highlights why student rental stock might be in short supply.

In terms of the larger university towns to see the highest demand, York (72%), Durham (64%), Lancaster (64%), Bournemouth (63%), Bristol (59%), Exeter (58%) and Bath (49%) all rank in the top 10.

Hottest universities

The index by UniHomes also looks at which individual university ranks top when it comes to rental demand immediately surrounding the main campus. Again, this is based on the percentage of lets already agreed but restricted to those within the same postcode as the university itself.

As with the overall towns, Chichester comes out on top again, with demand for student lets in the PO19 postcode coming in at 94%.

The University of York is the second most in-demand university for student lets in the immediate area, with 89% of properties already taken.

Newport’s Harper Adams University ranks third with demand at 76%, while Queen Margaret’s (67%), Durham University (64%), Lancaster University (64%), the University of Nottingham (64%), Falmouth University (60%), the University of Exeter (57%) and the University of Bristol (57%) also rank within the top 10 hottest universities for student rental demand.

Co-Founder of UniHomes, Phil Greaves, commented:

“It may seem like a while away, but the new academic year is fast approaching and this means an uplift in the number of students searching the rental market for a term-time home.

Demand for student accommodation remains very high despite the ongoing uncertainty caused by Covid. Where students traditionally may have settled for cheaper or smaller accommodation, the focus in recent months has been very much on finding a home which they aspire to spend a greater proportion of their time whilst studying. This direct influence due to lockdown restrictions and the requirement of remote learning means there has also been a focus on larger homes with four to five bedrooms or more, to help maintain the social aspect of living together with friends.

We anticipate the strong demand for high quality HMO houses to increase, as the situation for UK students continues to improve with a return to face to face lectures over the coming months, taking us one step further towards normality.

This presents a great opportunity for landlords, who can minimise any pandemic impact caused to rental income, by taking advantage of this influx of student interest.”

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