Figures released by StuRents, a website listing student accommodation prices across the UK, reveal that Oxford students pay 32.63 per cent less for privately rented accommodation when compared to local residents.

The analysis looked at 25,572 student properties across the UK, and collated the data to compare whether or not students are paying a premium on housing, when compared to non-student renters.

The average cost of privately rented accommodation in Oxford for students is es- timated to be £102.50 per person per week. In comparison, the overall average rent for non-students in equivalent accommodation per week is £152.15.

This places Oxford second in StuRents’ ranking of the differences between student and non-student accommodation rent values. The only university city where this dif- ference was greater was Reading.

The study also found that there was a regional discrepancy between students who pay a premium for rented accommodation, and those who pay comparatively less.

Whilst students renting in several cities in the north of the country, such as Loughborough, Durham, and Lincoln, pay premiums of up to 36.08 per cent, students living in cit- ies in the south of England have discounted accommodation compared to the average cost of renting in these areas.

Speaking on these regional discrepancies, Tom Walker, the CEO of StuRents, stated, “Analysis of StuRents’ rental data has unveiled a new side to regional variances in the student housing market, indicating that the crown for the most expensive city on a stu- dent rental basis is by no means clear-cut. Clearly value is relative, so comparing inter-city student rental prices purely on an abso- lute basis is perhaps a little one-dimensional. 

“The most fascinating outcome of StuRents’ in-house research is that the story of the most expensive student towns, as defined by which towns have the highest average per-person-per-week rent, is incomplete.

“In towns and cities where the mainstream rental market suffers from upwards pressure as a result of a burgeoning demand from young professionals and out-of-reach house prices, the student rental sector seems to trade at a discount to the market average.

“Conversely, the general consensus in the northern half of England seems to be that students represent a more premium demographic, and rental prices are adjusted upwards to accommodate this.”

Councillor Bob Price told Cherwell, “Rents in the private sector in Oxford are amongst the highest in the country and often provide poor value for money for the quality of the accommodation.”

“The Council’s licensing policy for HMOs [Housing in Multiple Occupation] has seen significant improvements across the sector, but the lack of housing in the city and the high demand for it is continuing to increase rents and drive growth in the size of the pri- vate rented sector.

“High rents are making it increasingly difficult for the Council to acquire accommodation for families accepted as homeless, resulting in a number of referrals out of the city.” 

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