Student rental demand returning?

Student rental demand returning?

16:07 PM, 29th March 2021, About 3 years ago 8

Text Size

As students look to secure a place to live ahead of the new academic year UniHomes researches which areas are showing the highest level of tenant demand. The Student Rental Hotspots Index 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.”

Top 10 Cities for Student Let Demand (Whole City)
Location Student Rental Demand Average Rental Price (pm)
Chichester, West Sussex 92% £988
Falmouth, Cornwall 78% £707
Newport, Shropshire 75% £603
York 72% £794
Durham 64% £493
Lancaster 64% £590
Bournemouth 63% £850
Bristol 59% £1,102
Exeter 58% £1,071
Bath 49% £1,275


Top 10 Unis for Student Let Demand (Uni Postcode)
Location Student Rental Demand Average Rental Price (pm)
University of Chichester 94% £1,016
University of York 89% £1,208
Harper Adams University 76% £959
Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh 67% £734
Durham University 64% £859
Lancaster University 64% £767
University of Nottingham 64% £849
Falmouth University 60% £1,301
University of Exeter 57% £995
University of Bristol 57% £1,196


  • Data sourced from Rightmove based on student rental stock available as a percentage of all student rental stock including that which has already had a let agreed.

Share This Article


Whiteskifreak Surrey

22:18 PM, 29th March 2021, About 3 years ago

.We have been students landlords in the last 10+ years and we cannot remember such a bad year. The demand here in Surrey is close to zero. Normally in March we have had contracts signed already for the upcoming academic year. No interest this year, despite lowering the rent and having good properties (EPC C, fully furnished). We contacted an Estate Agent (never did it before) and they confirmed our concerns. The situation is absolutely tragic for Student Landlords. We have no idea where from the author of this article obtained the data.

Marlena Topple

10:38 AM, 30th March 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Whiteskifreak Surrey at 29/03/2021 - 22:18
We are student landlords with properties in Kent and Birmingham. Apart from returners we have not signed any new contracts nor had any requests for viewings. Normally our properties are all let by Easter. However we anticipated that this would be a highly unusual year and we are not concerned about vacancies at this point. My feeling is that things will pick up to an extent when lockdown ends but the majority of the recruitment will be when term starts. We are not reducing prices now but may do so later on. We are anticipating that we will be asked to offer individual tenancies and include break clauses in our leases, both of which we would consider. All our tenancies are bills included as we find that attracts students. We are also looking at the quality and feel of our accommodation. Simply being fully furnished is not enough. We have sold one house that had high maintenance costs and a small communal area and will use the proceeds to buy another property. I am also remortgaging properties to reduce costs and release money to pay down other expensive mortgages to get better LTV rates. I would be interested to hear of other student landlord strategies.

Yvonne Francis

11:12 AM, 30th March 2021, About 3 years ago

I'm really surprised by the post above. I've been a student landlord for forty years and last November I have never had it so good. I'm in Oxford. Fantastic groups applied from some of the best collages, even asking to sign up with me without viewing on the strength of photos and floor plans. I was so over whelmed I asked one applicant who rang me what on earth was going on and suggested perhaps being confined to their room with a beef burger sent up for lunch was not exactly what they had signed up for. They answered 'something like that'. So the general impression I got was that they wanted to secure houses, and not continue with University accommodation which lots of them I accommodate have been offered in their second year. It would be nice but I'm not expecting this level of interest to continue in future years.

Whiteskifreak Surrey

12:28 PM, 30th March 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Yvonne Francis at 30/03/2021 - 11:12
Oxbridge will be very different from the other, not necessarily very top league, but still good Universities.
Lots of foreign students will not come to them, but will always scramble for a place in the top 5 UK Unis...

Whiteskifreak Surrey

12:34 PM, 30th March 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Marlena Topple at 30/03/2021 - 10:38
"Simply being fully furnished is not enough. " That goes without saying. We constantly improve, asking students to advise what would go well with students expectations and life.
Besides, UniS gives landlords a full list of compulsory furnishing and applicable safety measures. We must have an UniS Landlord licence too.
Basically there is no interest among students to commit themselves to renting. We would switch to another model but with the current climate we would rather sell.
Perhaps you are right, and it will pick up closer to holidays /beginning of October term?

Alan Scoones

21:34 PM, 30th March 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Whiteskifreak Surrey at 29/03/2021 - 22:18
Swop "Surrey" for "Stoke-on-Trent" (Staffordshire University) and I could have written that! Our experience is similar - never known such a bad year - and we've been doing it 17 years. Seriously considering selling up in the summer if it does not pick up and we start getting enquiries after Easter.


21:34 PM, 1st April 2021, About 3 years ago

I’m in Leeds. Can’t remember an easier viewing year. Remains to be seen whether the groups are going to be the best, but given the threat of not renting I was very grateful to let 90% of my houses in ten days flat. My stock is good, my photos are reasonable and my prices ok. There has been little predictable in this pandemic and from these comments it appears student rentals are also variably affected. I wish you all the best of luck. For what it’s worth, from talking to my tenants they just want to carry on and have a good time with their housemates, get their degrees and get a job when they graduate. My top tip- get your online photos as good as you can

Andrew Miller

16:20 PM, 3rd April 2021, About 3 years ago

We have 18 rooms over 3 high quality HMOs in Derby. Delighted to say they are all let for 2021/22 year.

Our marketing has been done well by the agent, including videos.

Good luck to everyone. I'm sure the market will come back. We just bought another property which will give us another 11 rooms for next year.

Leave Comments

In order to post comments you will need to Sign In or Sign Up for a FREE Membership


Don't have an account? Sign Up

Landlord Tax Planning Book Now