Property experts have looked at the top university cities in the UK in order to rank the best cities in the UK for students to rent property in. The universities chosen both have the highest enrolment rates in the UK and consistently show up in tables ranking the best higher education institutions in terms of student experience. The average rent ranking is based on figures taken from’s property search tool while the data for number of properties in the vicinity of each university’s campus was taken from Zoopla.

Average rent ranking, with rental property figures for the area included:

University of Sheffield £863 938
University of Coventry £917 1,630
University of Birmingham £1,028 572
University of Cardiff £1,067 929
University of Manchester £1,103 287
University of Newcastle £1,104 1,537
University of Nottingham £1,144 106
University of Leeds £1,237 1,153
University of Glasgow £1,246 106
University of Bristol £1,537 101
University of Edinburgh £1,669 199
University of Brighton £1,676 158
University College London £3,363 1,517
King’s College London £5,953 868

The University of Sheffield tops our list of best universities for student renters with both the lowest average rent (£863 pcm) as well as the 5th highest number of available properties to let within a 1-mile radius of the main university campus.

Also topping the list of Universities with the most affordable accommodation is the University of Coventry (£917 PCM), they also top the rankings of the university with most rentals available. They are followed by the University of Birmingham (£1,028 PCM), however rental availabilities drastically drop for this West Midlands university at only 572 properties for rent within a 1-mile radius of campus, that’s three times fewer than the University of Coventry.

The Universities of Cardiff, Manchester, Newcastle and Nottingham are all in the top half of the league table for student rental affordability. However, the University of Manchester falls short when it comes to the availability of rentals at a mere 287 available – That’s 95 undergraduates battling it out for a single property. Worse still is the University of Nottingham, students opting for the Queen of the Midlands will struggling to find rentals at 231 students per 1 property!

The universities at the end of the league table for affordable rentals are, perhaps unsurprisingly, both located in central London: University College London (£3,363 PCM) and King’s College London (a whopping £5,953 PCM). In fact, if you’re looking to rent near a London uni, you’ll find it £2,590 cheaper near UCL than renting near King’s. With that said, both offer a decent number of rentals within a mile of campus- 868 for King’s and 1,517 for UCL.

This is unlike the other lowly ranked universities – offering fewer rentals at higher prices are the Universities of: Glasgow, Bristol, Edinburgh and Brighton.

The University of Bristol is the worst offender for lack of student rentals, at only 101 available near campus. Two Scottish universities also make the list at the lower end – with Glasgow offering 106 properties at an average rent of £1,246 PCM and the University of Edinburgh with 199 rentals at an average price of £1,669 PCM. For Edinburgh, with a student body close to 26,000 strong, this means there are about 120 students for a single property near campus.

For more on this study and about our research methodology, click here

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Daniel Peacock

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