Tensions can run high with a teenager in the house, but for those aiming to go to university, spring can be particularly fraught. Sixth-formers are waiting anxiously to find out if they have been accepted for their degree course of choice – subject to A-level results in August, of course. But it’s not just exam stress and the race for a place that is on their minds: there’s also fierce competition for decent accommodation.
Research by Savills shows that, in London, there are almost 3.5 full-time students for every bed in purpose-built accommodation – which means many are reliant on private renting and, for the lucky ones, parental help.
Many students get a place in halls of residence for their first year, but their second and third years can be a time of down-at-heel digs. For parents, buying a flat or house near their offspring’s university will guarantee them hot water and can be a great way to help them onto the property ladder. But you’ll need to do your research. “Access to lectures, transport and night life is important,” says Richard Brooks, head of South West Residential Sales for Savills in Clifton, Bristol. “Plus, you’ll need to decide on any rent you’ll charge your child’s housemates and get some guarantors in place.”
Bearing all that in mind, here is our guide to six key university cities and tips on where to buy.