Best university towns for student accommodation and investor potential revealed

14th August 2020

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Best university towns for student accommodation and investor potential revealed

Last year nearly 2.4m people enrolled in higher education across the UK according to the HESA, with 56% of students opting for either provider maintained properties, private-sector halls or other rented accommodation.

While Covid-19 may see these figures decline for the coming year, many students will remain hopeful of starting or returning to university in the coming months. Property developer StripeHomes has taken a look at the best universities for student accommodation availability and those currently in the highest demand amongst the returning student body. 

Best student accommodation availability

When it comes to the best universities for student accommodation availability, Warwick ranks top. 

Currently, the amount of student-specific accommodation available accounts for 71% of all rental properties listed online. 

Kent (67%), Dundee (59%), Swansea (58%) Newcastle and Northumbria (56%) also rank as some of the best universities in terms of the volume of student-specific accommodation as a percentage of all available rentals. 

Worst student accommodation availability

In contrast, King’s College London, Imperial College London and London School of Economics and Political Science rank as the worst. Just 5% of the accommodation currently available to rent in the City of Westminster is specifically designated as student accommodation. 

Queen Mary’s in Tower Hamlets (6%), the SOAS University of London (10%) and UCL also rank as some of the worst where the volume of current, available student accommodation is concerned.

Most in-demand 

Where current demand for student accommodation is concerned, the University of York ranks top. Of all current student accommodation available, 73% has already been rented by those starting or returning to the university.

Student specific accommodation near the UCA in Farnham is also in high demand with 61% of stock currently listed already let agreed, with the universities of Stirling (45%), Surrey (44%), Bristol (41%), Exeter (36%), Essex (36%), Royal Holloway (35%), Nottingham (35%) and Nottingham Trent (36%) also ranking high for current student rental demand. 

Managing Director of StripeHomes, James Forrester, commented:

“Investing in student accommodation can be a smart move as the ever-revolving carousel of tenant demand for student-specific properties can ensure a constant stream of rental income. 

Many students will have completed their current year in an online capacity, but going to university is a physical life experience that is unlikely to be replaced by the trend of remote working currently sweeping many workplaces. 

Even in the current climate, there remains a strong demand for student accommodation surrounding universities all over the nation, presenting a great opportunity for property investors and developers to step up and provide these much-needed homes. 

At StripeHomes, this is something we’ve continued to prioritise with an eye on the long-term, as should always be the case with any property investment and development. 

Providing excellent student accommodation is something we do very well in Newcastle and the surrounding areas, so it’s great to see both Newcastle and Northumbria rank so highly where the level of available student accommodation is concerned.”

Top 50 UK Universities ranked by the highest level of student-specific accommodation as a percentage of all current rental stock available
University Location Student Accommodation as a % of All Rental Stock Available
University of Warwick Warwick 71%
University of Kent Canterbury 67%
University of Dundee Dundee 59%
Swansea University Swansea 58%
Newcastle University Newcastle upon Tyne 56%
Northumbria University Newcastle upon Tyne 56%
University of Sheffield Sheffield 55%
Loughborough University Loughborough 53%
Royal Holloway, University of London Egham 53%
University of Sussex Brighton 50%
University of Stirling Stirling 50%
University of Leeds Leeds 48%
University of Leicester Leicester 48%
Harper Adams University Newport, Shropshire 46%
University of Essex Colchester 46%
University of Lincoln Lincoln 45%
Queen’s University Belfast Belfast 40%
Lancaster University Lancaster 39%
University of Southampton Southampton 37%
Cardiff University Cardiff 35%
Aston University, Birmingham Birmingham 35%
University of Birmingham Birmingham 35%
University of Liverpool Liverpool 34%
University of East Anglia UEA Norwich 33%
University of Nottingham Nottingham 31%
Nottingham Trent University Nottingham 31%
University of Bath Bath 30%
University of St Andrews St Andrews, Fife 30%
University of Surrey Guildford, Surrey 30%
University of Manchester Manchester 29%
Durham University Durham 29%
University of Cambridge Cambridge 27%
University of Edinburgh Edinburgh 26%
Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh 26%
University for the Creative Arts Farnham 26%
Arts University Bournemouth Bournemouth 25%
University of York York 24%
University of Exeter Exeter 23%
University of Glasgow Glasgow 21%
University of Strathclyde Glasgow 21%
University of Reading Reading 21%
University of Bristol Bristol 20%
University of Aberdeen Aberdeen 20%
University of Oxford Oxford 17%
Oxford Brookes University Oxford 17%
UCL (University College London) Camden (London Borough) 10%
SOAS University of London Camden (London Borough) 10%
Queen Mary University of London Tower Hamlets (London Borough) 6%
London School of Economics and Political Science City of Westminster (London Borough) 5%
Imperial College London City of Westminster (London Borough) 5%
King’s College London, University of London City of Westminster (London Borough) 5%
Student property stock percentage based on total student-specific properties listed on Rightmove as a percentage of all rental properties listed in each area (03/08/2020)
Top 50 UK Universities ranked by the highest current demand for student-specific accommodation
University Location Demand
University of York York 73%
University for the Creative Arts Farnham 61%
University of Stirling Stirling 45%
University of Surrey Guildford, Surrey 44%
University of Bristol Bristol 41%
University of Exeter Exeter 36%
University of Essex Colchester 36%
Royal Holloway, University of London Egham 35%
University of Nottingham Nottingham 35%
Nottingham Trent University Nottingham 35%
University of St Andrews St Andrews, Fife 33%
Arts University Bournemouth Bournemouth 33%
University of Bath Bath 31%
Lancaster University Lancaster 29%
University of Glasgow Glasgow 27%
University of Strathclyde Glasgow 27%
University of East Anglia UEA Norwich 26%
University of Sussex Brighton 26%
University of Cambridge Cambridge 23%
University of Kent Canterbury 21%
University of Aberdeen Aberdeen 19%
University of Southampton Southampton 19%
Durham University Durham 17%
University of Edinburgh Edinburgh 16%
Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh 16%
Queen Mary University of London Tower Hamlets (London Borough) 14%
Newcastle University Newcastle upon Tyne 14%
Northumbria University Newcastle upon Tyne 14%
University of Oxford Oxford 14%
Oxford Brookes University Oxford 14%
SOAS University of London Camden (London Borough) 13%
University of Lincoln Lincoln 13%
University of Sheffield Sheffield 13%
UCL (University College London) Camden (London Borough) 13%
University of Reading Reading 13%
University of Liverpool Liverpool 12%
Cardiff University Cardiff 11%
University of Manchester Manchester 11%
University of Leicester Leicester 11%
University of Leeds Leeds 10%
Harper Adams University Newport, Shropshire 8%
Loughborough University Loughborough 8%
University of Birmingham Birmingham 7%
Aston University, Birmingham Birmingham 7%
University of Warwick Warwick 6%
London School of Economics and Political Science City of Westminster (London Borough) 4%
Imperial College London City of Westminster (London Borough) 4%
King’s College London, University of London City of Westminster (London Borough) 4%
University of Dundee Dundee 2%
Swansea University Swansea 2%
Student property demand percentage based on the number of student-specific properties listed on Rightmove already let agreed as a percentage of all rental properties listed in each area (03/08/2020)

 

 

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