Mind The Graduate Gap: Grads Face Up To 50% Jump In Living Costs When Moving From Halls To Private Rental Accommodation

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Students graduating in Bristol this summer who swap university accommodation for the private rental sector will face Britain's biggest 'graduate gap', with one bed homes in the city costing 49% more than living in halls[1], new research byGravity Co, the flexible living brand has found.

  • Graduates in Bristol who swap student halls for the private rental sector face paying up to 50% more, new analysis of the 'graduate gap' in UK university cities by the flexible living brand Gravity Co has found
  • London graduates pay 48% more to live in a private rental property compared to university accommodation
  • Those leaving uni accommodation are entering an overheating private rental sector, where average rents have surged 5% across the UK over the past year

Gravity Co compared the average cost of student accommodation with the average cost of renting in the private rental sector in 10 of England's biggest university cities.

It found the cost of renting a one-bedroom home in the private rental sector in Bristol costs £249 a week on average — 49% more than living in an en-suite room in halls.

Similarly, London graduates could expect to pay £410 a week for a one-bedroom home in the private rental sector in the capital — a 48% increase compared to the cost of an en-suite room in halls.

While some universities only provide accommodation in halls for first year students, others offer student accommodation for all three years of a typical degree course.

This summer's cohort of graduates - many of whom will have spent part of their course studying remotely from their family home during lockdown - face a particularly sharp jump in living costs as they graduate from low-priced halls to private rented accommodation.

UK rents have risen by 5% over the past year to May[2], and are taking up the highest proportion of average earnings in a decade at 28%[3].

Cost of uni accommodation v private rental sector


Average weekly cost of university halls en-suite room

Average weekly cost for one-bed home

Cost of renting one-bed home in private rental sector versus halls









































Gravity Co is a flexible living and PRS brand focused on community, wellbeing and professional growth who organise regular events so its members can meet new people, make friends and build work connections.

To help its members better manage their money, their rental prices include utility bills and through their secured partnership discounts, members can save up to £300 across numerous brands.

Riccardo Tessaro, Co-Founder & CEO of Gravity Co, comments: "Thousands of students graduating this summer are entering an overheating rental market.

"The jump in living costs will be especially sharp for those graduating in Bristol and London, where university halls can be as much as 50% cheaper than renting privately. Although graduates will expect to pay more when they finish university, escalating costs in the rental sector makes it more challenging than ever for those embarking on their careers, as a higher proportion of their income will be paid out in rent.

"The cost of renting makes accommodation which also includes utility bills particularly attractive, as it gives tenants a much better idea of their total costs for a set contracted period. This is particularly helpful at the moment as energy bills remain historically high.

"On the rental front-line, we are seeing soaring demand for studios and one-bedroom apartments, and it is vital that developers keep adding them to their pipelines, particularly in cities like London which attract a lot of graduates.

"Many new graduates entering the jobs market and searching for somewhere to live want more than just a place to lay their head and are increasingly searching for somewhere that enables them to make both friends and work connections.

"We provide the most flexible housing solution in London, offering contracts that range from 3-12 months across a variety of property types from co-living schemes to traditional, self-contained apartments. With a heavy investment in technology, we've also created space online for our members via our dedicated app allowing them to access on demand services, fast reactive maintenance, events, interest groups and brand partnerships that support professional and career development."