An analysis of a National Union of Students/Unipol accommodation costs survey showed average weekly rents for U.K. student accommodation rose 23 per cent since 2009.
The increase reflected the student housing prices surging more than inflation and price growth in the private rental market. It also partly reflected the level of investment being funnelled into student accommodation facilities.
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Pros and Cons
The increase in prices may be a boon to investors, but it certainly gives British students a cause of financial concern. A growing number of students are depending on their parents, taking on part-time work and even applying for payday loans to pay for student accommodation.
Average weekly rents for purpose-built student housing have increased to £147 from to £120 between 2009-2010 and 2015-2016, according to the NUS/Unipol survey.
NUS vice president of welfare Shelly Asquith said that the increasing accommodation cost became the most significant concern for students, as their income among other funding resources has not been increasing on the same level.
Industry proponents are advocating for the creation of a national group of student housing co-operatives to provide students with cost-efficient alternatives to high rentals. Despite the advancement of student co-ops in terms of acquiring properties, several challenges still prevail for new student housing co-ops in the market.
Some of these obstacles include limited access to funding channels, poor property management experience, and property prices among other factors.
Scott Jennings of Students for Cooperation believes that establishing new co-ops for student housing will help not just students, but also the broader community through unlocking investment potential through a nationwide cooperative.