With further lockdown restrictions lifting, many are looking forward to September and upcoming university intake. Early signs point to this being a strong year for student rental demand.

Data from online student accommodation platform, UniHomes, has identified areas they are predicting will be “hotspots” for students in the next academic year.

Locations with demand

The data, which takes a look at the UK’s top 100 universities, highlights those which are currently seeing the highest demand.

This is based on the number of student homes listed on the market that have already had a let agreed, for the next academic year, as a percentage of the total available.

Both the University of St Andrews and the University of Cambridge rank highest, with 60% of all rental stock listed as already taken for the upcoming year.

University of Nottingham is home to the next greatest volume of demand, with 44% of rental rooms taken, and the Universities of York and Glasgow round off the top five with 42%.

Other universities seeing some of the strong levels of student rental demand include the University of Essex at 34%, the University of Southampton at 31%, Aston University in Birmingham at 29%, Durham University at 27% and the University College London at 27%.

Student population

Previous research completed by the company shows that the percentage of the population opting for higher education has grown almost consistently, since 2015.

In 2015, university students accounted for 3.6% of the total UK population, but this has climbed steadily year on year, with them now making up 3.8% of the UK.

Even with the inconsistency of 2020, the rise in students entering higher education, coupled with a backlog from last year, means that landlords should find rooms filled in the year ahead.

Platform co-founder Phil Greaves commented:

“As thousands of students begin moving into their student accommodation for the fast approaching academic year, the return to in-class learning this year is still pushing high rental demand surrounding the nation’s universities.

“Despite much of the last year’s learning being done in a virtual capacity due to the pandemic, we’ve seen many students remain keen to carry on renting within their chosen university city and this has provided some much needed certainty for student landlords.

“While demand around many universities is high, there is still plenty of stock on the market for those looking to the year ahead.”

Landlord response

This will be good news for landlords who rely on student numbers to fill their buy to lets.

After the disappointing year of distance learning and students choosing to defer for the year, this data paints a more positive picture for the year ahead.

This information should not be interpreted as financial advice. Mortgage and loan rates are subject to change.