Report: Annual Rent for Purpose-Built Student Accommodation in UK Reaches £7,374 in 2021/22

United Kingdom Europe Higher Education News by Erudera News Dec 27, 2021

Student Accommodation in UK

The average annual rent for purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) in the UK is £7,374 in 2021/22, according to the new Student Accommodation Costs Survey 2021 by Unipol and the National Union of Students (NUS).

The report indicates that the private sector is now the main provider of PBSA, hosting around 30,000 residents in a year, whereas educational institutions “remain static at best.”

Student Accommodation Costs Survey shows there has been an increase of £309 or 4.4 percent in annual student rent from last year and a 61 percent increase since 2011/12. According to the report, student rent has, on average, increased by 48 percent over the past 11 years, reports.

“The national average price tag for university-owned rooms is £6,227 in 2021/22, while the mean rent for the private beds incorporated into their portfolios is £7,059,” the report notes.

The report further points out that the difference between private beds used by universities which cost around £7,059, and private beds directly let (£8,002) is of particular importance in shaping relations with private providers; universities are selecting accommodation that meets their requirements, and standard en-suite rooms to meet the needs of their accommodation guarantee.

According to the report, in 2021/22, students pay £166 a week for rent at all purpose-built stock types and providers.

“On average in 2021/22, students are paying £13 a week less for institutional accommodation than for a room in the private sector. But, of course, the weekly rate is only part of the rent calculation. What students pay each year depends also on the length of their contract,” the report adds.

Survey findings have also shown that contract lengths are associated with private providers. In 2021, survey participants said that tenancies have shortened by one, two, or three weeks or have remained the same, which according to the report, might be an effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amid pandemic, 29 percent of private providers have offered rent discounts and 41 percent have offered some incentives such as vouchers and cashback. On the other hand, in the university sector, 84 percent claimed they had not changed pricing tactics.

Meanwhile, when it came to refunding, universities were more ready to refund students than private provides, who were less likely to offer refunds.

The 2021 survey follows the last survey conducted in 2018, with more private providers taking part. As per universities, although the participation level has remained the same, the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University have decided not to participate this year.

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