The student accommodation market has seen a proliferation of purpose-built and re-purposed private halls developments over recent years, aiming to offer
students an attractive accommodation option outside of the traditional choice between university-owned halls and privately rented houses and flats.
The focus of the research has been on Private Halls’ average rents, both at national and regional level, and how these have changed compared to previous
years. The average rent value (ARV) for all private halls developments for 2015 (excluding London) is £138.79 per week, up by £9.77 from last year. London
remains the most expensive area from this point of view (ARV is £278.07 per week) and is closely followed by other cities in southern England.
These observations are aligned with an increase in the demand of private halls’ rooms and quality of services. This is also reflected in the increase in
the number of rooms available offered for the 2015/2016 academic year compared to the previous year.
Private Halls vs. ‘Traditional’ Accommodation
When compared to other accommodation choices, Private Halls’ ARV is 72% (i.e. on average £59.85) higher than that of traditional student digs. The weekly
rent students should expect to pay for accommodation in traditional digs is £82, the ARV in Private Halls is around £140 per week. In London the average
rents in private halls of residence are more than double more traditional forms of private accommodation (£278 for halls, comparted to £122). Furthermore,
the difference can amount to and above £130 per week in cities such as Reading and Kingston, where the percentage differentials in ARVs is above 120%.
Data from our most recent Landlord Report (Autumn 2015/2016) suggests that around 85% of the respondent landlords and letting Agencies have reported
increasing rents overall for the 2015/2016 academic year, but for the majority of these (93.6%), the raise in rents has been less than 10%.
In Private Halls, the majority of cities have experienced an increase of at least 5%. However certain cities such as Reading, Sunderland, Salford,
Sheffield, Cardiff, Aberdeen, and Leicester have experienced raises in ARVs of above 20%.
Why students choose private halls?
In May 2015, AFS launched a major study into the main motivations for choosing to live in Private Halls of residence. A copy of this report is available by
request, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is interesting to note that the majority of students choosing private halls were aware of the price differential, but were generally prepared to accept
that difference, believing that halls provided value for money and high satisfaction levels. The main factor behind students choosing private halls was the
quality of the location as well as the simplicity of having all bills included within the rent.
The Private Halls Rent Report is available online at http://bit.ly/1HExQhG and you can access the landlord reports here http://bit.ly/1OkIKAU (overview) and here http://bit.ly/1M3Chqt (rents)