Average student monthly rents up 30% since 2022

More than two in five (46%) students run out of money before the end of the semester.

Related topics:  Finance,  Students
Rozi Jones | Editor, Barcadia Media
21st August 2023
student accomodation
"An increased reliance on student loans and double digit increases in spending on food shopping and rent is having a real impact on student finances."

Edinburgh is the most expensive place in the UK for students to live, according to the latest NatWest Student Living Index which takes account of student income and living costs to calculate a score for university towns and cities across the UK.

NatWest surveyed 3,052 students to determine the most affordable place to study.

This year has shown that rent has increased by an average of 30% for students, with the national average monthly rent now at £591.90. London is the most expensive city in the UK for students to rent, with an average cost of £840.30 per month.

In Edinburgh, students have a monthly term-time income of £1,453, the lowest of all the cities ranked, while their total monthly spending stands at £1,072.61. Students in Edinburgh are working more in part time jobs and it is the only city which has seen an increase in the part-time working hours of students when compared to 2022.

In contrast to Edinburgh, Bournemouth tops the list of UK cities as the most affordable, taking the top spot from Cardiff. Higher-than-average term-time incomes contributed to Bournemouth being named the most affordable student location.

The average term-time income for students in the city sits at £3,296.64, the second highest of all the cities surveyed. They spend an average of £1,225.05 in total – however this is the second highest of all the cities in the Student Living Index. In comparison to other cities, just over seven in ten (73%) students use their loan as their primary source of income.

Nearly half of students (46%) have found themselves running out of money by the end of term – up from 35% in 2022. Almost one in four students (24%) said they found managing their money stressful – an increase of 29% compared to last year. This is most pronounced in Bournemouth.

In a sign that the cost-of-living squeeze is starting to hit home, students are spending an average of 24% less on going out than the previous year.

While the majority of students haven’t considered leaving or ending their course early due to financial difficulties, it is something on their minds. One in five (21%) said they had considered it but would find a way to manage, while 29% said it was a concern for them.

Jaimala Patel, head of NatWest student accounts, said: “An increased reliance on student loans and double digit increases in spending on food shopping and rent is having a real impact on student finances. There are some reassuring signs that students feel far more comfortable budgeting than in previous years, and they are taking steps to live within their means. We provide a range of tools to help students, including spend categorisation in our mobile app and a Round Ups tool to help develop a strong savings habit.”

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