Around 20,000 students attend Portsmouth University each year and, although some would say this is a high number, there is certainly more room for growth.

Leaving aside for the moment the ongoing debate with tuition fees and whether they will increase or decrease, the bottom line is that students do not have to pay this money back until they are earning over the current threshold of £21,000 per year.

So, where does that leave Portsmouth housing for these young people of our world of tomorrow? Many property landlords tend to shy away from Student housing, due to the numerous scare stories around about their lifestyle and lack of concern for the property. So it is not surprising that some landlords do not enter that sector of the market.

But, having been in the property rental game for well over a decade, I believe that this negative side has been over-hyped and all is not as bad as one is led to believe. Maybe some agents, who have been taking advantage of this lucrative market for some time, allow these stories to circulate to put off new comers. But  properly

However, Regardless of how young people look after the home, there is of course a security deposit. On top of this most good letting agents will ensure that they have named guarantors in place to protect the landlord and the property further and, provided you pick a competent agent, there really is no work involved other than making decisions.

This is why some would say that the student rental market in Portsmouth is a lucrative one whether you live in Portsmouth or half way round the world.

I suppose the best unbiased way to look at it is with facts and figures, here is a bit of food for thought:

Annual house price change in Portsmouth: +2% (BBC News website based on Land Registry data).

Average house price in Portsmouth: £169,776 (BBC News website).

5 Bed house in Portsmouth can be obtained for around £200,000 upwards. (You can get cheaper but some work may need doing. Also consider that rules for Homes of Multiple Occupancy apply to some larger properties.)

NB: Prices from PO1 area within a quarter of a mile radius.

Average price per student per month £300 (Kind research from KB1 letting agents – Albert Road).

Potential Rental per annum: £18,000

Gross Rental Yield: 9%

This could therefore make a good investment or be part of a pension plan.

The above gives a small overview to the potential of Student property rents in Portsmouth and, although the figures were correct at time of going to press, it would always be best to check out these figures for yourself, you may also find some better deals than those I have located.

The above may also apply in kind to other university towns.

Lee Shepherd, owner of LS Lettings, is an experienced letting agent with many years experience.

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