Student rental enquiries up despite slower return to normality for some

UniHomes reports an uplift of 234% in student rental enquiries despite a slower return to normal for some.

Group of university students - UniHomes | PBSA News

The UK’s leading student accommodation platform – UniHomes – has seen a sharp uplift in student rental activity since the Government’s announcement on returning to higher education just over a month ago. 

On the 22nd February 2021, the Government announced that in person learning can resume for students on practical or practice-based courses and who require specialist equipment and facilities. 

While all other students have been asked not to return to either their campus or term-time accommodation just yet, it seems this lockdown exit plan has boosted confidence amongst those searching for term-time accommodation for the following academic year. 

Following the Government’s announcement, UniHomes saw a 68% increase in students searching for rental accommodation, with enquiries on student rentals also climbing 234% compared to a year ago.

A separate survey of 301 letting agents conducted by UniHomes suggests this trend looks set to increase as we continue to creep out of lockdown. When asked what they thought would drive demand for student rentals in the coming months, the results were as follows:

  1. The return of domestic students to their universities – 41%
  2. The easing of travel restrictions allowing foreign students to return – 22%
  3. The influx of new domestic students searching for next year – 20%
  4. Domestic students searching for the next academic year – 16%

“Continued uncertainty within the workplace and a lack of available jobs has caused many young people to opt for higher education to bypass the impact of the pandemic until the landscape has improved. 

“Although university has been largely confined to remote learning for the last year or so, demand for HMOs has remained strong, as many students attempt to maintain some form of normality within their university life. 

“The recent announcement on returning to study has also boosted hopes that it will be business as usual come the next academic year and we’ve seen a substantial uplift in interest by students who want to secure a place to live in anticipation.

“With the ability to finance their rental payments via student loans, financial concerns have been less of a deterrent for landlords within the student letting sector. So we expect to see this segment of the rental market return to full health far quicker than other areas over the coming months.”

Phil Greaves, Co-Founder, UniHomes