Average property prices in the UK’s top 50 university towns and cities have risen by £28,725 since 2015, according to research by online estate agents Housesimple.com.
In more than half of these towns, average house price rises since 2015 would have funded a three-year degree course.
Housesimple.com looked at how house prices have performed since students who have just graduated, started their three-year degree courses in 2015. Only the UK’s top 50 ranked universities, according to The Guardian, were considered. If parents had bought a second home or buy-to-let property, to rent to students or for their child to live in during their studies with friends, in 56% of these towns and cities, house price growth would have covered the entire £27,250 cost of tuition for a three-year degree course.
The research reveals that property prices in Coventry, which has the 13th ranked university in the country, have increased by 61% between June 2015 and June 2018, according to Land Registry figures. An average property in Coventry would have set parents back £114,625 in 2015, and today would be worth £184,690. That’s an increase of £70,065 in three years which would have easily covered the £27,250 tuition fees for two children at Coventry University.
Similarly, in Manchester (34th ranked university in the UK), the current average property price is £174,044, up 26.7% or £36,626, since 2015. Essex (31st ranked university), Bristol (20th and 37th ranked) and Kent (35th ranked) have all seen average house prices increase more than £53,000 since 2015, which is twice the cost of funding a three-year degree.
Cambridge (£37,594 price increase) and Oxford (£28,028), the top two ranked universities in the UK, have both seen average property prices since 2015 rise more than the £27,250 cost of a three-year degree. However, current average property prices in Cambridge are £440,126 and £402,020 in Oxford, much higher than many of the other university towns, and possibly out of reach of all but the richest few who might consider the buy-to-let route.
Sam Mitchell, CEO of Housesimple.com, said: “The cost of a three-year degree at many universities is fast approaching £30,000, and that’s just to cover tuition fees. There’s also accommodation costs and general living expenses to think about.
“If you are in a position to buy a second home, purchasing a property in the town or city where your child is studying could provide a possible solution and give your offspring a debt-free start in life after university. By investing in a second home, the increase in capital value alone could cover the cost of tuition fees.
“Of course, there’s no guarantee house prices will continue to rise at the rate they have in many of these cities since 2015, but this is one conceivable way to help cover the cost of higher education in the medium term.”