Sunday, October 11, 2009

Student Rent Prices on the Rise...

Another article caught my eye this weekend, again in The Sunday Times, but this time about student accommodation costing as much as £548 a week, yep that's right, a week.

The accommodation that costs £548 is in London which doesn't come as a massive surprise as far as location is concerned, as housing in London is widely acknowledged as being more expensive, but as a student myself that sort of price is truly shocking. This halls of residence is run by a private company whose owner is endorsed by University College, London and is part of a growing trend where traditional halls of residences are being replaced by housing blocks managed by private companies.

This comes in the same week as an academic at Queen Mary College, Kevin Sharpe claimed that students had "posh pads" and wrote about their supposed 'high spending power.' But I can't imagine the students that are having to fork out £548 a week on rent, having much money left over!

This can only add to the worries of many students who leave home for the first time to move into halls of residence and even more so for international students who leave their home countries to come to university. This is something that many universities should be looking to resolve as it is their responsibility to make affordable accommodation available to all students. The vice president for welfare at The National Union of Students said in The Sunday Times that "universities should take this more seriously," and I couldn't agree more. Students already leave university lumbered with debt, and I know that this is something that we all accept and know before deciding to go to university, but surely these sort of rent prices are just plain ridiculous?

The article states that the move from university run halls of residence to those run by private companies has already "hiked rents by 8% in the past year alone." Edinburgh is the most expensive city outside of London with a maximum rent of £216 a week, according to The Sunday Times University Guide. Again an excessive amount for student, which for most, will only increase the debt they will leave with.

My rent in Winchester is expensive compared to a lot of my friends who go to university further north but surely something has to be done to protect students from extortionate rent prices?


  1. £548 is probably split like 4 or 5 ways though, so a hundred a week is only 25 more than the average around here. and it is in London =]

  2. The article says "a single bedroom flat with no bath and a kitchen squeezed into a cupboard has been marketed to students at £548 a week." It also says the reporter (who posed a a prospective student to see the property) was shown about 10 rooms, including two at £548, including bills.

  3. Nice blog Mark

    Check out my thoughts on the 'revelation' by Kevin Sharpe that all students live in luxury here:

  4. Housing is too expensive in the south - because there's a lack of housing being built. Labour were going to build a lot of new EcoTowns with loads of council houses, but the NIMBIES blocked it and we can kiss goodbye to any new building of flats or houses - because if you build more houses rents go down, and house price values go down. Voters who political parties want don't want their buy-to-let incomes or house values to go down, so the last thing they want is a load of poor people moving into a gigantic council housing estate somewhere near something like Andover. So its high rents and unaffordable houses until somebody gets busy building houses. see:

  5. Alternatively we could just pick out a million or so people at random and murder them - thus creating empty houses and falling rents.