Abigail MeadowDecember 12th
2019

Student maintenence loans are being consumed by the increasing cost of private-sector accommodation, with purpose built rooms in London averaging £1,000 more than the maximum loan.

A survey, which looked into the student accommodation market found that the average cost of an en-suite private bedroom in purpose built blocks consumes 75% of the maximum maintenance loan outside of London and 110% maximum inside London.

The report, carried out by Cushman & Wakefield, states: “Despite the nearly £12,000 maintenance loan available to London students, the price of a private-sector room is £1,000 higher."

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The report blames a 'restrictive planning environment' and a high demand from international students for causing rents in London to go up by more than 17% in the last five years.

The study also estimates that there are now 660,000 purpose built student bedrooms in the UK, which is a third more than five years ago, with annual rents and transactions worth £2.5bn to the end of October this year.

David Feeney, Cushman & Wakefield’s student accommodation lead adviser, said: "The momentum behind student accommodation continues, with the marketisation of the higher education sector leading to an explosion of growth in student headcounts at many institutions.

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“The global prestige and brand strength of the UK’s academic institutions remains very strong, and there has been 33% growth in international student numbers over the past five years at the strongest [science and technology] universities. In light of this, demand for student beds continues to outpace the overall supply pipeline.”

The study also found that 87% of the 32,000 new bedrooms added this year are being constructed for private operators.

The report warned: "2019 has been characterised by a number of schemes being delivered late, damaging both the reputation of the sector and the student experience of those affected.”

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The NUS said its manifesto for the general election included a demand that the next goverment 'tackle the spiralling costs of student accommodation and ensure rooms are accessible to all students'.

Generally, University owned accommodation or halls of residence work out cheaper, although this does vary by location.

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