The race is on as 73% of students seek accommodation before even accepting UCAS offers

The race is on as 73% of students seek accommodation before even accepting UCAS offers

  • 73% of students research accommodation before accepting a university offer (UCAS)
  • Competition is increasing – 2016 saw 2.3 students per available bed, up from 2.1 in 2015 (Cushman & Wakefield)
  • Demand is so high that students who don’t book early miss out on the best facilities (Collegiate AC)
  • 48% of students book their university accommodation before August (UCAS)


May and June will see A-level students across the country racing to fit in last minute revision and make sure they know everything they need to in order to sit their exams. Those looking to go on to university will already have applied to their preferred institutions, and many will already have received conditional offers. Others can expect to receive their offers over the coming days and weeks, with A-level results day scheduled for 17 August.


However, the days of leaving it until then to search for university accommodation are long gone. According to the just-published Accommodation Survey 2016 from UCAS, 73% of students now research available accommodation before accepting an offer from a university.


22% even start researching before they have submitted their UCAS application. Meanwhile, a staggering 48% book their accommodation before August.


“Demand is so strong for university accommodation in the UK that students are having to book earlier and earlier in order to secure their home of choice. Research has shown that there were 2.3 students per available bed in 2016. Even with purpose built student accommodation springing up around the UK, demand continues to outstrip supply. Students looking to live in the newest accommodation with the best facilities can’t afford to wait until they have their A-level results.”


Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate AC



Figures from UCAS show that the increased range of accommodation on offer, thanks to significant investment in purpose built student accommodation over the past few years, has meant that students now view a much larger number of properties than they did just two years ago.


In 2014, 67% of students viewed (either online or in person) between two and five properties. That figure dropped to 44% in 2016. Meanwhile, those viewing between six and ten properties rose from 14% in 2014 to 24% in 2016.


Viewing pictures online was the most popular method of viewing a property, with 58% of students researching their accommodation options in this way.


With this in mind, many leading student accommodation providers include a large number of high quality images on their websites, so that potential residents can get a feel for the property.


Students curious about Collegiate AC’s new Ernest Place accommodation in Durham, for example, can flick through images of the site’s en-suite apartments (including bedrooms and kitchens), glass-walled Sky Lounge, rooftop terrace, gym, cinema, dinner party room, common room and sauna.


“We aim to share as many visual elements of the property as possible online, to help students make informed choices about where they would like to live. While we also talk about the interior design elements of our properties and the vision behind their look and feel, it is the images that many students are most interested in – they want to see the site and be able to picture themselves living and studying there.”


Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate AC



The first-rate facilities on offer at Collegiate’s range of accommodation around the UK mean that apartments get booked up very fast. At Plummer House in Newcastle, it’s the cinema, gym, games area and club lounge that tend to turn heads, while those viewing Halsmere Studios in London are often delighted at the thought of having a tranquil garden with barbecue area in an optimum South London location.


The breadth of facilities on offer means that students have to leave plenty of time for researching their accommodation options. This is another reason why many choose to get doing so out of the way before they have to focus entirely on their exams.


“Your choice of accommodation can impact your entire university experience. That’s why it’s key to begin your research early and book a property that offers the ultimate lifestyle experience. Booking early can shape the entire course of your time at uni.”


Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate AC



For more information and to book accommodation, contact Collegiate on +44 1235 250 140 or visit