The Times Higher Education supplement has published findings for the cheapest cities in the UK for student living. The research was undertaken by NatWest Student Living Index, which researched into the best value places in the UK for students.
The research surveyed almost 3,500 students about their cost of living in relation to things like cost of food, going out, accommodation and travel expenses. The survey took place across a total of 35 popular student cities in the UK to determine which was the most affordable.
Interestingly, the research found that the most affordable cities were those with the most part-time work to allow students to supplement their income from student loans, and as such meant that the overall cost of living was deemed more affordable due to access to funds.
Students reported that their biggest expenditure on a monthly basis was on food, household items and toiletries, costing them a total of £78.10 per month. Perhaps surprisingly, the average student only spends just over £48 per month going out and socialising with friends, which ties into the reported recent trends for students to lead a much quieter lifestyle with the increased cost of studying.
The research found that the most affordable city in the UK was Cardiff, followed by Aberdeen, Durham, Canterbury, Swansea and then Manchester. The most surprising ranking on the list was Glasgow, which was ranked the most unaffordable city just ahead of London, which came in 34th.
Again, however, this was mainly due to lack of access to part time work and a supplemented income to allow them room for other spending.
NatWest’s report also said that students in Durham and Oxford get the most money from their parents a month, at £412.90 and £376.50 respectively.
In contrast to that, students in Hull received the least from their parents (£129.20 a month on average). Hull students did, however, get the most money from bursaries and scholarships, receiving on average £198.60 each month.
The study also found that students are surprisingly good with their money when it comes to budgeting. Only 29% of students said that they did no budgeting at all, but also said that they’re not frivolous with their money, opposed to 51% who said they regularly budget their money to ensure that they have enough and that it’s spent in the right places.
It’s a fascinating insight into student behaviour considering the reputation for students to sometimes be frivolous and spend money on unnecessary things but also enhances the view that students can be extremely spending conscious in the right ways.
For investors, it’s always a good idea to get an insight into student behaviour to understand the market and it allows them to get a good idea of the right locations and features when deciding where to expand their portfolio. If you’re looking to invest in UK student accommodation, contact us today to speak to one of our expert consultants.