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Housing Hand warns of ‘tsunami of students’ struggling to find university accommodation

  • Record 2,175,835 students studying at UK universities (Cushman & Wakefield)
  • Supply challenges pushing students to commute from further afield
  • Rising utility costs likely to be major challenge for those not in halls

UK rental guarantor service Housing Hand has warned that A level results day is likely to trigger a tsunami of students struggling to find accommodation for their university places. The warning comes in light of unparalleled demand for university accommodation, with Cushman & Wakefield reporting that a record 2.18 million full-time students are currently studying at UK universities. 1.63 million of those require bedspace during their course of study, due to studying away from home.

We are working with universities up and down the country and many have expressed concern over the lack of available student accommodation in their local area. Some are going so far as to advise students to arrange their accommodation before they take up their place.”

Graham Hayward, Chief Operating Officer, Housing Hand

Part of the problem is a lack of supply, according to Cushman & Wakefield, which cites the pandemic, rising construction costs and inflation as combining to put the brakes on the delivery of new student homes. At the same time, legislative changes are pushing many private landlords to sell up, reducing the supply of homes in the private rented sector. All while student numbers are climbing. This is having a major impact on the choices that students are able to make when it comes to where they will live.

In East London, for example, Housing Hand is working with several letting agents who have plenty of student applicants but no stock to select from. This is pushing students to locate further afield and commute – something the Housing Hand team has witness in multiple areas. And all this is before A level results come out on 18th August.

We’re anticipating a tsunami of students who will face difficulties finding appropriate accommodation over the next few weeks. A growing number of universities are engaging Housing Hand to provide rental guarantor services, to try and make it easier for students to access local accommodation but lack of supply, rising costs and (increasingly) disrupted travel mean that it isn’t always easy.”

Graham Hayward, Chief Operating Officer, Housing Hand

The rising cost of living is, of course, also coming into play. Utility bill costs are a particular concern for those students not living in halls – but rents are on the rise too. According to Cushman & Wakefield, the average university price (£6,482.45) is now 68% of the maximum Student Maintenance Loan amount. The average yearly private sector rent (outside London), meanwhile, stands at £7,055.71. That equates to 74% of the maximum Student Maintenance Loan. Rental growth of 1.07% during 2021/22 is set to increase to 3.1% in the year ahead.

Housing Hand is doing what it can to support both students and accommodation providers. By developing strong relationships with universities, the company is supplying rental guarantees under partnership agreements that support students to select diverse locations for their accommodation.

Housing Hand has also ramped up its onboarding facilities to allow for speedy validation and acceptance in the coming weeks, ready to support students who cannot or prefer not to pay upfront to secure their accommodation. The company’s subscription payment model allows students to spread and manage the cost of the service. It also has partnerships in place with a growing number of universities, whereby all students at the partner institutions can access reduced price guarantor services.

For more information, please contact Housing Hand today on +44 (0) 207 205 2625 or visit

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