Student landlords in one city see their rents rocket

Steve Lumley·2 September 2022·5 min read
Student landlords in one city see their rents rocket

Student landlords in one city have seen rent prices rocket by more than 20%, according to one lettings agency.

Walton Robinson says it has boosted their landlord's income for 2022/23 by more than it did last year.

Kyle Dickson, the firm's lettings manager, said: "Properties for the 2021 to 2022 academic year were in extremely high demand and we are already seeing a similar trend rolling into the 2022 to 2023 season.

"When we started marketing properties for 2022/23, we'd already seen a 70% increase on student enquiries, compared with the last academic year."

Part of the rent rise is down to increasing demand for property from a larger number of students attending university in Newcastle and this is also helping to push property prices up, especially for homes of multiple occupancy.

Rent rises are higher on a managed student property

The Newcastle-based student lettings and property management company point out that the rent rises they have seen are higher on a managed student property.

They say that is down to the agency having a say on the property's condition and arranging refurbishment work.

To highlight the student rent rise, Kyle points to a property that is managed by them in Heaton that has seen a rent rise of 21% - and a nearby property has seen its rent increase by 20%.

But these student properties are not alone - the agency says that in other parts of Newcastle, student rents are enjoying big price rises.

And, they say, these rent prices will continue growing.

Price rises aren't putting off potential student tenants

It appears that the price rises aren't putting off potential student tenants since the firm says it has let 76% more properties at this point than it did last year.

The agency lists their student properties in mid-October and this year, they have seen a record number of enquiries being received.

Along with a massive increase in student housing demand, the firm manage to let more properties in the first week than they had done in each of the previous four years with average rent rises of nearly 5%.

'A key factor to a landlord achieving a higher rental income'

Amy Gibson, the agency's general manager, said: "A key factor to a landlord achieving a higher rental income is ensuring that properties are consistently kept to a high standard.

"We work very closely with landlords to ensure that this is happening and can offer a number of services assisting with the process from start to finish."

She also says that other landlords could see their rents increase if they carried out improvements – especially since student housing is in short supply.

Simon Thompson, the managing director of Accommodation for Students, said: "I would suspect that more cities with large student populations will be seeing rent rises and, I'm sure, we will hear more about those in the weeks and months to come.

"However, the interesting issue is what we always say - and that is quality student properties managed by responsible landlords will always be successful and that appears to be the case in Newcastle."

Lack of student hall demand blamed on Portsmouth University

Meanwhile, one student halls owner has been left with empty rooms and is blaming Portsmouth University for encouraging online learning.

That is despite Covid restrictions being lifted on university students and now Collegiate has submitted a planning application for its Crown Place halls to turn 115 rooms into housing.

The halls provider says that the problem is down to a lack of overseas students attending the university.

However, a spokesman for the University of Portsmouth denied the claim and said their students had not been advised to study online.

The move by Collegiate would affect 20% of the accommodation space in the halls, and turning student rooms into housing will, it says, help ‘boost income’ whilst the sector recovers from the pandemic lockdown.

International students who were studying online

In a statement, the owners say that the University of Portsmouth advised its international students who were studying online during the pandemic lockdown to continue doing so.

They added: “This advice flies in the face of other universities which was for students to come back to their campus.”

The University spokesman pointed out that they had not been consulted by the Crown Place developers at any point during its planning, development or construction.

He added that their online learning advice was for students who could not travel to the UK during the pandemic lockdown, to follow government guidelines - and the University now places a high value on the face-to-face teaching of all its students.