Fresh data from the consumer watchdog Which? reveals that four in ten first year students in 2017 had begun searching for accommodation for the next academic year before the end of their first time at University.
The data, complied from responses over over 3,000 students, found that one in four freshers said that they had to begin the process of searching for their accommodation for the following academic year between September and November of their first academic term.
Based on the findings, Which? has reminded students to make sure that they don’t make ‘rash decisions’ when it comes to choosing accommodation, which they may regret later on.
Key findings of the research
According to Which?:
- Over HALF of the first year students surveyed said that they began looking for accommodation for the following academic year between October 2017 and January 2018. Just one in five (18%) had not yet started looking for accommodation by March 2018.
- Four in ten (39%) of students reported that they felt ‘very’ pressured to start looking for accommodation, and to secure somewhere quickly.
The Which? University research asked first year students in March this year whether they had started looking for their accommodation for the next academic year, and if so, when.
Different picture across the country
The research found that in regions with smaller University towns, students felt that there was greater pressure to find somewhere to live for the next academic year (compared to in larger University towns and cities)
This was the case in the North East (45%) South West (45%) and East Midlands (44%) , where first year students were most likely to begin looking for their accommodation for the next year between October and November, just after the start of their first term.
First year students in London were most likely to leave the search for next year’s accommodation until later in the academic year, with 43 per cent not beginning their search until after March 2018, and a further quarter (27%) beginning their search between January 2018 and March 2018.
In Wales, 44% of first year students began looking for accommodation between October and November.
Alax Hayman, Managing Director of Public Markets at Which? said:
“Our research shows that first year students are not only having to deal with the stresses of leaving home, managing their finances and adjusting to life at university, but that many of them have the added pressure of needing to look for accommodation within a few weeks of starting their first term.
“There is plenty of advice and guidance available to students looking for private accommodation for the first time, to help navigate the process and make an informed decision.”
The research was carried out by Youthsight, which on behalf of Which? surveyed more than 5,000 undergraduate students. 3,283 students were included in the survey.