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Student.com reveals top 10 most expensive cities for international student accommodation

International students studying in New York City are spending the most in terms of accommodation, paying an average of US$526 a week in 2016, according to Student.com.

That’s nearly double the amount that students pay in Sydney, which placed at #10 on the list.

In fact, the top five most expensive cities for student accommodation are all located in the United States, while the lower half is dominated by cities in the United Kingdom, with the only exception being Sydney.


Source: Student.com

“New York is one of the most expensive cities in the U.S., and it’s a big student destination with a large number of universities in a relatively small area,” said Angela Zaeh, Student.com’s vice president in growth and international.

“If students want to be in walking distance of their university (and they often do), it will be expensive,” she added, as quoted by The PIE News.

Of the five U.S. cities which feature on the list, three of them are in the sunny state of California: San Francisco, Berkeley, and La Jolla in San Diego.

The U.K.’s capital, London, has a reputation for being an expensive study destination, but that doesn’t seem to faze most students – it’s still among the most popular places for overseas education and came at #6 on the list, with rent costing students around US$330 per week.

“We were surprised that London did not appear in the top five most expensive cities globally for students. London is internationally recognized as a very expensive place,” said Zaeh.

She also said she was surprised that the Scottish capital of Edinburgh came in seventh, commenting: “We might have expected this to be Bristol, Bath, Oxford, or Cambridge.”

And indeed, Cambridge (US$313/week) and Oxford (US$303/week) were not far behind, coming in at #8 and #9 respectively.

While U.S. cities on the list charged higher rent on average, U.K. cities saw the highest rise in student rent between 2015 and 2016.

According to the survey, U.K. students paid an average of five to 10 percent more in 2016 compared to the previous year, with the average London rent going up by US$18, and in Bath by US$23.

As for Australian cities, Sydney and Melbourne emerged as its most costly for students, seeing a surge in rent by 10 percent over the past year.


Sydney Opera House. Image via Unsplash

Student.com thinks that it’s likely to keep going up, as in the next year, the website predicts that rent in the two cities will probably increase by US$10-US$20 a week.

This does not bode well for the international student accommodation market in the country, as Zaeh said: “[The Australian student housing market] is an undersupplied market with huge demand. Student accommodation as an asset class is going to triple in the next three years.”

Student.com, a leading global marketplace for student housing, based its figures on data compiled from bookings across its user base. Last year, it recorded up to US$110 million in bookings from students in over 100 countries, and this year, it secured an investment of some US$60 million from various contributors in the Silicon Valley, including the founders of Spotify, a popular internet-based music platform. 

Image via Unsplash

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