Hordes of students are making a last-minute dash to secure accommodation as the prospect of a more normal academic year becomes a reality.
UK rental guarantor service Housing Hand has reported an unprecedented surge in business, according to head of sales and business development, James Maguire (pictured), who says they’ve not seen a rush like it.
“The summer months are always our busiest period for student bookings, as young people arrange their homes for the coming academic year,” says Maguire.
“But this summer we’ve seen a record number of students leaving things to the very last moment before booking their accommodation.
Brexit and Covid have created the perfect storm in terms of delaying decisions around committing to the expense of accommodation for the year ahead.”
Housing Hand is the largest provider of rental guarantor services in the UK and also provides a free House Finder Service, which connects young people with student-friendly landlords and letting agents across the country.
It reports that the last two weeks in particular have seen last-minute arrivals from many countries, including India, the United States, Malaysia and many of the Middle East countries, which is filling the gap left by the continuing uncertainty Brexit caused for students from EU countries.
Terry Mason, Housing Hand’s group operations director, adds: “Last year, many UK students decided to take a year out, as the pandemic added uncertainty. This year, they have enrolled in university courses.
“It may follow that the European students are taking a year out as the Brexit/fee issue is compounded by the pandemic. If this is the case, then we will be looking at another bumper year next year.”