Demand for student accommodation is greater than ever, a specialist online platform suggests.
This is despite high supply of new purpose built flats for students, and uncertainty over foreign academic study because of Brexit.
UniHomes says the overall student population in the UK has increased by nine per cent in the past five years, with nearly 200,000 more heading to higher education.
In 2015, university students accounted for 3.6 per cent of the total UK population, but this has climbed consistently year on year, with them now making up 3.8 per cent.
Property consultancy Cushman and Wakefield, quoted by UniHomes, says the level of student-specific accommodation reaching the market has climbed at an average of 5.2 per cent a year since 2015.
Now purpose-built student accommodation totals 660,000 homes in total, but even so many students still require private rental accommodation.
While this demand has rise, supply has dropped according to the platform; stock levels in England have dropped by an annual average of 0.2 per cent over the past five year and today there are 107,000 less rental homes across the UK market when compared to the peak of 4.832m rental properties in 2016.
UniHomes co-founder Phil Greaves says: “While the provision of student-specific accommodation has increased, a reduction in PRS stock is a worrying trend that could cause issues for future students when it comes to putting a roof over their heads.
“Rental affordability is already an issue for many at university and the cost of renting is the largest outgoing that many students struggle to cover. Should stock levels continue to decline while demand increases, the cost of renting is likely to climb higher, causing rents to increase as well.”