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PBSA investors – these university hotspots are offering the most homes

Southampton, Portsmouth and Nottingham are the cities with the highest density of student rental availability, research from UniHomes has revealed.

The student accommodation platform analysed market listings for student homes in 23 major UK cities and found that there are an average 1,669 student properties available to rent per city.

With a plan to return to physical classes now in place for many students, demand for student accommodation is set to start to rise again.


What has the most student rentals?

In terms of total student rentals on the market, those heading to university in Leeds will have the most choice, with over 6,000 student lets currently listed on the market.

London is home to the second-largest level, with 4,113 student rentals available. Newcastle also ranked high with 3,358 available properties.

Student rental hotspots

UniHomes also looked at rental availability in relation to the size of each city to see which offered the most choice to students in terms of sheer density in a given location.

When looking at stock availability versus the size of each city, the south coast comes out on top as the current student rental hotspot of the UK.

There are currently 1,641 student lets listed in Southampton across approximately 50 square kilometres. This means there’s an average of 33 student rental properties per sq km in the city.

In Portsmouth, the 1,286 student lets currently listed equates to 32 homes per sq km, with Nottingham (30), Newcastle (30), Leicester (27), Bournemouth (23), Liverpool (17), Plymouth (15), Oxford (15) and Bristol (14) also ranking as some of the UK’s current student rental hotspots.

Investor opportunities

In contrast, there are currently just 70 student lets listed in Bradford and with the city covering a sizable 366 square kilometres, this means there is an average of just 0.2 student lets per sq km.

In Swansea and Aberdeen, there is an average of just one student let per square kilometre, while Sunderland, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester don’t fare much better with just two student lets per sq km.

With student tenants providing a consistent stream of demand, it would seem these areas provide a great opportunity for buy-to-let landlords to plug the hole in the market while also providing some much-needed rental accommodation.

Phil Greaves, co-founder of UniHomes, comments: “Although September seems a long way off, finding the right property can be a lengthy process and our research shows that it could be far trickier in some university cities compared to others.”

“The level of student lets available can differ drastically from one location to the next so depending on where you plan to study, you might need to start looking sooner rather than later. Even in areas with the highest levels of rental stock, leaving it until the last minute can mean settling for a property you’re not quite happy with, whether it be due to size, location or otherwise.”

He concludes: “Our research also demonstrates some great opportunities for landlords in cities with the lowest level of student rental stock. Students provide a consistent stream of rental income and in areas such as Bradford, there is a real gap in the market for student rental properties.”


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