A Third of Students Plan to Move Home After University
By: Glide Utilities
What Students Seek has been commissioned for the past four years with the aim of tracking what students look for from their university accommodation plus student lifestyle trends and the current cost of being a student.
Accommodation represents the second biggest spend for students during their studies following fees. 72% of students pay between £80 and £139 per week. University locality creates some variance with 15% of London students paying over £200 a week, and 69% of students in the North East pay less than £90 a week.
It reveals that private student rent remains the same for the second year, which will come as a respite for students, who according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) are likely to graduate with debts just shy of £60,000.2
Outside of accommodation needs, the report also pointed to a decline of the infamous student social life. When asked how respondents funded their social life, almost one in five, (17%) admitted that they didn't have one. Despite this, over a third still rated the proximity to bars and clubs as an important factor when choosing accommodation.
Key insights from the 2017 WhatStudentsSeek4 report:
• Less is more: On average students live with four other people, with 39% sharing with five people or more. However, when asked how many people they'd ideally like to live with, almost half, 48%, indicated they'd like to share with just two or fewer people in their next property.
• Switch off the TV: The majority, 60%, rated having a TV as the least important factor when choosing accommodation. After cost, a fast broadband connection is by far the most important factor for students, followed by good storage space, bills inclusive and double beds.
• Management: Students tend to be positive when it comes to the way their property is managed; 57% shared this view. However, almost a quarter, 23%, felt negatively citing the following top issues to be causing problems:
o Lack of response on maintenance issues, (37%)
o Poor upkeep of the property, (30%)
o Lack of communication, (28%)
• Bills included: Three quarters of students said that having bills included in their rent was either essential or quite important when considering a property, making this an easy fix for landlords and letting agents in attracting tenants.
• Incentives: One in 20 students said they had been given either a cash or non-cash incentive for taking their current property. Although very low, 2% said they had been taken out for a drink by their landlord
James Villarreal, CEO at Glide Utilities said of the 2017 What Students Seek Report; "The fact so many graduates are planning to move home after living independently at university, is indicative to the growing debt they face. Therefore, it is good news for students that private rental costs remain static. However, I'd say this was temporary as the ban of tenant fees will inevitably get passed through to rent costs in the future.
Interesting that today so few students want a TV in their rental property. Consuming programmes that they like, when they like, is clearly more important to them than the camaraderie of watching TV together with their housemates."
What Students Seek was commissioned in April and May 2017 by Glide Utilities (https://glide.co.uk/
1. Results taken from a survey of 722 students in April and May 2017 as well as year-on-year data obtained from previous surveys and focus groups conducted by AFS.
2. From a report by the Institute of Fiscal Studies, July 2017