On the up: as student rents soar, guess who’ll be paying the most?

There's been an increase in student rents across the UK this year, but when it comes to the cost of student accommodation there's still an obvious north-south divide

Are you waving off your teenager to university this autumn? At this time of year, as exam results flood in, students prepare for university life in a new city and parents prepare to load up the car with clothes, books and kitchen basics.

But as a new wave of students move in to their house shares and halls, let’s not forget the finances.

New research from Accommodation for Students reveals that rents are going up – and the average rental value has risen 3.1%.

And this average rent increase is being driven by soaring rents in the south.

The new research is based on UK rents of over 125,000 properties, in 92 locations.

Unsurprisingly, London is the most expensive place to live as a student, with an average rental value of £129 per week, followed by Egham in Surrey (£115) and Newport (£113 a week).

Winchester and Middlesex also weigh in with average rents over £100 per week.

However, some northern university locations, such as Manchester (£74 a week), Leeds (£74), Sheffield (£69) and Nottingham (£76) are 6% below the national weekly average.

‘The student accommodation market remains robust and is still one of the most attractive yield classes for property investment,’ says Simon Thompson, Director of Accommodation for Students.

‘We are still seeing large-scale development in student accommodation up and down the country. Demand for places at well renowned academic institutions is clearly having an impact on student rents.’

The best value locations for student rental accommodation are Walsall, Stockton and Wolverhampton, where average weekly rents are £48, £49 and £52.

Again locations in the south are the priciest, such as Luton, which is up 20% in 2013 (from £71 in 2012 to £91), Chatham (up 19%) and Bournemouth (up 16%). These locations all cost between 5% and 15% above the national average.

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