A record number of pupils have secured places at university following this year’s A Levels results – which means that many student landlords can expect a rush of enquiries for accommodation from those going through the clearing process.
Universities have accepted more than 409,000 applications – which is up 3% on last year – and some higher education institutions are struggling to provide beds for their first year students.
Many of those going to University in September have been accepted by their first choice of institution and many have also been accepted by their second choice.
This means there are fewer students heading for clearing, just 149,000 applications which is a drop of 4,000 on last year but universities are now being inundated with calls from students keen to snap up last-minute course places.
Of course, this also means that a large number of students will also be looking for accommodation in their chosen university towns and cities.
Universities can recruit unlimited student numbers
One reason for the big rise in initial acceptances is down to a huge rise in applications following a relaxation in the rules to enable universities to recruit unlimited student numbers.
Competition for these places in the better universities is still fierce and many universities are now looking to expand in the near future.
The chief executive of UCAS clearing system, Mary Curnock Cook, said: “More 18-year-olds in the UK will now benefit from higher education this year than in any year before. This is an impressive outcome.”
However, a gender gap between accepted university students is now becoming apparent; there were 27,000 more females accepted for courses than men. Women now account for 57% of the university population.
When it comes to finding accommodation for first years, several national newspapers have already highlighted the shortages that have occurred in recent times.
University accommodation in the first year is expensive
The Mirror is among the media outlets that have also pointed out this week that living in university-provided accommodation in the first year is an expensive option and that renting property from a student landlord for the remainder of their studies will save them money.
In a HSBC study published this week, students in 85% of the universities in the UK found much cheaper student accommodation when they moved out for their second year of studies.
To help illustrate this, the Mirror printed a graphic which showed that students in university halls were paying just over £120 a week on average whereas moving out to a student landlord’s property would cost them a little over £60 a week.
The other issue for student property landlords is that with growing student numbers, competition for quality accommodation will increase in the years to come and, as noted recently by real estate firm Savills, growing numbers of overseas investors are ploughing huge sums into providing purpose-built student accommodation in the UK to help meet this growing need.