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10 Cities Student Rental Survey Results

Unipol Student Homes has been working on a national survey of rental costs in purpose built accommodation.

Unipol knew that inflation and high interest rates were driving rental increases, and wanted to track this accurately.

The result is ‘The 10 Cities Rental Survey’ which was produced in partnership with the Higher Education Policy Institute. (read article and access the full report HERE)

The headline finding from the report is that ‘…student rents now swallow up virtually all of the average maintenance loan, as the sector reaches a “crisis point” in affordability.’ 

  • In 2021/22 average annual rents stood at £6,520 and increased to £7,475 in 2023/24 across the ten key regional university cities. Across England as a whole, average annual rents now stand at £7,566 for the current academic year (2023/24).
  • Using ONS forecasting, the average maintenance loan received by English students this current academic year is expected to be £7,590 versus the average rent in England which stands at £7,566, meaning rents swallow up virtually 100% of the average loan, leaving a mere £24 left over for other living essentials, equating to 50p a week. It also equates to more than three quarters (76%) of the maximum maintenance loan.


The Report calls on the Government to reconsider how student maintenance is calculated so that funding better reflects living costs, and on universities to take the lead on developing more affordable rooms, otherwise there is a danger that only the well-off will be able to afford to live away at University.

This has received significant media coverage, having been featured on BBC Radio 2 and 4.

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