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London student rents are rising as students besieging accommodation providers outstrips the supply of available properties.
The capital has just 55,000 purpose-built student bed spaces chased by 283,500 students seeking a place to stay – with student numbers 6% up on last year’s total.
Builders are rushing to finish 7,700 more bed spaces, but even that number is nowhere near enough to satisfy demand despite rising tuition fees and London ranking as one of the most expensive cities in the world to live.
Hard-pressed developers have another 21 schemes in the pipeline, compared to 11 at the same time last year. The balance of providing the extra accommodation falls to private student landlords, says a report by property consultants Drivers Jonas Deloitte.
The number of bed spaces awaiting completion has risen by almost 90% from 4,078 last year to 7,744 with around a third due for completion during this year.
Brent is the London borough with the most construction as there is currently 1,095 bed spaces underway in two schemes.
Chris Baldwin, head of student housing at Drivers Jonas Deloitte, said: “The capital has accommodation for just 20% of the student population. The fact remains we are still a long way from filling the supply gap and this level of undersupply looks unlikely to ease any time soon.
“This is only being exacerbated by the lack of bank finance and tougher planning policy for developers as they struggle to get approval for schemes.”
The report reveals student rents in London private halls average £145 per week.
That figure is around 55% above the UK average, while student rental growth has outstripped the UK by 7% over the past 12 months.
Private direct let accommodation for students is more expensive than the halls at an average £216 per week, 79% higher than the university average of £130 per week.
Andrew Gale, planning director at Drivers Jonas Deloitte, said: “We’ve seen planning policy across London evolve in the last 12 months with several authorities harden against student accommodation development.
In Southwark, Islington and Camden, policymakers have adopted quite stringent policies to limit new student accommodation.”
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