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The UK’s best universities: A landlord’s guide

The UK’s best universities: A landlord’s guide

1. Cambridge

Sitting pretty once again as the UK’s number one university according to The Guardian and number 2 according to The Times Higher Education supplement, as well as number 2 in the world according to The Times, the ancient learning cathedral continues to offer some of the best higher education in the world.

But what about supplying student accommodation in the areas surrounding the university? Whilst Cambridge and its geographical colleague Oxford often appear near the top of the league tables for performance in academia their performance in property leaves much to be desired.

According to research by Simple, Landlord Insurance and LendInvest, Cambridge doesn’t even appear in the UK’s top 20, with yields of under 4.5% annually.

Not only relatively poor performing yields but initial investment costs are astronomical with house prices in the areas rivalling those of London.

Whilst Cambridge, and Oxford, may be leafy and attractive areas which play host to the world’s finest universities it’s not an area to seriously consider for student Buy-To-Let.

2. Manchester

31st in the UK according to The Guardian and 54th in the world according to The Times, that’s not a performance to be sniffed at and, unsurprisingly for Europe’s busiest student area, Manchester ranks very highly for Buy-To-Let potential.

LendInvest ranks it number two in the country for rental yields at a mightily impressive 6.20% per annum, with nearly 90,000 full time students and a property market currently booming.

With not just the University of Manchester, but Manchester Metropolitan and the University of Salford within a small distance of each other, the potential reach for student investment is huge.

Property prices, especially for HMO’s are relatively low in comparison to the likes of Cambridge, Oxford or the London universities and makes Manchester one of the country’s leading Buy-To-Let cities for student property.

3. Durham

Ranked 4th in the UK by The Guardian and 97th globally by The Times, Durham University is undoubtable one of the UK’s finest and perhaps offers some of the best value in an otherwise underrated area of the country.

With the North-East experiencing an economic recovery of sorts, with plenty of businesses and infrastructure prospects finding their way to the region, Durham and its surrounding areas represent real value for money.

Yields aren’t quite as impressive as those in Manchester, but at 5.20% annually they certainly represent good returns. With average house prices in the area much lower than down south or even in some areas of the North West, there’s a low initial investment price which means that canny investors are able to build a sizeable portfolio to offset any risks.

4. Nottingham

Ranked 19th in the UK by The Guardian and within the top 150 globally, The University of Nottingham is similar in many ways to Manchester and Liverpool.

The city itself is going through a period of regeneration whilst keeping house prices relatively affordable. Lendinvest suggests that average annual yields in the city are 4.80% which is impressive.

The university has almost 60,000 full time students in conjunction with Nottingham Trent and, as such, boasts a large student population in comparison to its overall population. Demand is high and, as with others on this list, initial investment amounts are relatively low.

With the UK boasting arguably the best universities in the world it’s no surprise that student numbers are continuing to increase with a more even spread across the UK. Some of the country’s most valuable student cities are perhaps nestled in unexpected areas, and some are exactly where you might expect to find them. With student property set for another year of surging popularity, it may be worth expanding your portfolio across these famous cities sooner rather than later.