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The uni towns offering the best buy-to-let returns for landlords

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Student houses provide above market average rental yields for landlords with some towns surpassing 10%.

Of 20 major university towns, Durham and Warwick came out top for rental yields, with 11.5% and 10.3% per year respectively, according to figures from Simple Landlords Insurance.

It compiled the data by comparing the rental price advertised for student houses on popular roads with the estimated property values for 20 of the UK’s top universities.

However, a snapshot poll of 400 landlords found that 79% would not or had not considered renting to students.

The majority preferred to play it safe by only renting to professional working tenants, but the research found that student properties can command significantly higher rent than their estimated market value.

Rental value estimates from property website Zoopla for similar properties on the same street as the student houses were lower than the price advertised specifically to student tenants for 17 out of 20 towns.

Oxford saw the lowest yield at just 2.78%, according to the data.

Not reckless tenants

Simple Landlords Insurance director of underwriting Tom Cooper said there were some great investment opportunities for the minority of landlords who were prepared to rent to the student market.

“It’s not as risky a move as you might think,” he said.

“Often students don’t deserve their bad reputation. With university fees today’s students take their studies much more seriously, and many also work to see themselves through the semester.

“It’s not quite the hard-partying picture many have of student life.”

He added that analysis carried out by the firm’s underwriters suggested students were no longer the reckless tenants many believe them to be.

“Don’t miss out on a great investment opportunity and sky-high yields because of tenant type,” Cooper added.

The student yield league table

Yield position University Yield University League Table position
1 Durham 11.53% 6
2 Warwick 10.25% 9
3 Manchester 8.48% 18
4 York 8.24% 21
5 Sussex 8.19% 25
6 Loughborough 8.11% 7
7 Nottingham 7.38% 17
8 Lancaster 7.38% 8
9 Bristol 6.88% 15
10 St Andrews 6.77% 5
11 Birmingham 5.63% 15
12 Surrey 5.61% 19
13 Bath 5.52% 11
14 UEA 5.33% 14
15 Edinburgh 5.24% 23
16 Exeter 4.56% 12
17 London 4.53% n/a
18 Cambridge 4.28% 1
19 Leeds 4.17% 13
20 Oxford 2.78% 2


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