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Students Hit Hardest By Rent Increases

by Sarah Halloran

Recent reports have claimed that the cost of renting has increased across the board but there may be a nasty shock in store for those who have just got their A level results. While the private rental sector has shown increases of 4.3% over the last 12 months, students are now facing rises of up to 25%.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) have claimed that the rise in demand and the increase in private rental charges are down to the scarcity of mortgage products and the situation is only likely to continue in the same manner for the foreseeable future.

In fact, surveyors predict that a similar rise of around 3.9% in rental costs will follow over the course of the next calendar year as the mortgage market continues to be difficult to access.

“While tenant interest is still riding high, what remains to be seen is whether many are willing to meet the increasing rents being demanded by landlords,” said Peter Bolton-King, residential director at RICS.

“However, it is clear we have seen rents grow steadily right across the UK for some time. This is partly down to the problem of the scarcity of mortgage finance and the large deposits required by lenders.

“These barriers to homeownership need to be addressed alongside the shortage of new stock coming to the market.”

Meanwhile, a further survey has shown that while a student’s weekly rent has risen by 2.4% in the same 12 month period, some areas of the UK have returned increases of around ten times that figure.

The organisation, Accommodation for Students has shown that rents in the North of the country have jumped by alarming rates and they have revealed a 25% increase in Hull over 12 months while Lancaster and Durham have recorded rises of 24% and 20% respectively.

According to Simon Thompson, co-founder of Accommodation for Students, the rises tend to be greater, depending on how desirable the local college or University might be.

“A key factor in determining student rents is the desirability of attending some universities, Mr Thompson said.

“That puts pressure on the accommodation available and, hence, the charging of higher rents. Winchester, Durham, Lancaster, Exeter and Newcastle come into this category.”

In addition, Oxford and Cambridge have experienced obvious increases while the cheapest place for students to rent in the UK is Glamorgan, with an average cost of just £46.00 a week.

The student and private rental markets are completely different entities but both sets of figures show us that the advantages in the current climate are firmly with the UK’s landlords.

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