Tenant News

Record number of students looking for accommodation last minute, Housing Hand finds

Em Morley - September 13, 2021

UK rental guarantor service Housing Hand has reported an ‘extraordinary surge’ in business, as a huge number of students race to book their university accommodation at the last minute.

James Maguire, Head of Sales and Business Development at Housing Hand, comments: “We’ve not seen a rush like this before. The summer months are always our busiest period for student bookings, as young people arrange their homes for the coming academic year.

“However, this summer we’ve seen a record number of students leaving things to the very last moment before booking their accommodation. Brexit and COVID have created the perfect storm in terms of delaying decisions around committing to the expense of accommodation for the year ahead.”

Terry Mason, Group Operations Director of Housing Hand, comments: “With the prospect of a more normal academic year finally a reality, students are rushing to find the homes that they need in time for the start of the autumn term. It’s entirely understandable why so many have left it so late, but it certainly adds to the pressure in terms of getting everything done in time for the new academic year.”

The Housing Hand team has also commented on the results of a recent study from the Higher Education Policy Institute and Universities UK International. It shows that just 10 international (non-EU) students opting to learn in the UK will generate £1million of net economic impact.

James Maguire comments: “Historically, the UK has always rated very highly for non-EU students, alongside the USA and Australia. With those two countries still a little behind the UK in opening up to students after the pandemic, the UK is benefiting from a major opportunity. Here at Housing Hand, we are seeing record numbers of non-EU students using our guarantor services.

“The last two weeks in particular have seen last minute arrivals from many countries, including India, the United States, Malaysia and many of the Middle East countries. This is definitely filling the gap that has been left by the continuing uncertainty Brexit has caused for students from EU countries.”

Terry Mason adds: “Last year, many UK students decided to take a ‘year out’, as the pandemic added uncertainty. This year, they have enrolled in university courses. It may follow that the European students are taking a year out as the Brexit/fee issue is compounded by the pandemic. If this is the case, then we will be looking at another bumper year next year.”