The Sunday Times
Tuesday March 19, 2019

Want to know where the best returns in the UK's student buy-to-let sector are? Zoopla has got it covered.

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  • Scotland is home to the most student buy-to-let hotspots, with half of Zoopla's top 10 performing university towns found north of the border.

    And its capital, Edinburgh, has been crowned the UK's highest yielding university town. 

    Zoopla used rental data for four-bedroom properties in the UK's 127 largest university towns to rank the best and worst-performing buy-to-let locations by pre-tax gross yield.

    The yield is worked out by dividing the amount of rental income received over a year by the property's value. 

    For those thinking about buying a property for their son or daughter and letting the spare rooms to fellow students, we also worked out how quickly the income could cover the cost of three years' worth of tuition fees (£27,750).

    This is based on renting out three of the bedrooms, with the owner's child living rent-free. But if this is an option you are considering, also factor in the potential rise of fall of the house price and additional costs of buying, such as the 3% SDLT

    Here's the 10 best buy-to-let student towns (and, for the 10 worst, scroll down...):

    1. Edinburgh (University of Edinburgh)

    Average monthly rent (four-bedroom property): £2,216

    Average asking price (four-bedroom property): £403,431

    Gross yield: 6.59%

    Months to pay off three years' worth of tuition fees (£27,750): 17

    For sale: Four-bedroom flat on Rosefield Street for £400,000


    2. Glasgow (University of Glasgow)

    Average monthly rent: £1,425

    Average asking price: £263,482

    Gross yield: 6.49%

    Months to pay off £27,750: 26

    For sale: Four-bedroom semi-detached house in Jedburgh Avenue, Rutherglen, for £259,000


    3. Stirling (University of Stirling)

    Average monthly rent: £1,382

    Average asking price: £288,124

    Gross yield: 5.76%

    Months to pay off £27,750: 27

    For sale: Four-bedroom detached house on Torbrex Lane for £315,000


    4. Salford (University of Salford)

    Average monthly rent: £1,394

    Average asking price: £295,294

    Gross yield: 5.66%

    Months to pay off £27,750: 27

    For sale: Four-bedroom terraced house on Albert Park Road for £280,000


    5. Belfast (Queen's University)

    Average monthly rent: £999

    Average asking price: £212,634

    Gross yield: 5.64%

    Months to pay off £27,750: 37

    For sale: Four-bedroom terraced house in Beechwood Grove, Newtownbreda, for £215,000


    6. Dundee (University of Dundee)

    Average monthly rent: £1,119

    Average asking price: £244,066

    Gross yield: 5.5%

    Months to pay off £27,750: 33

    For sale: Four-bedroom semi-detached house on Taylors Lane for £250,000


    7. Hamilton (University of the West of Scotland)

    Average monthly rent: £1,135

    Average asking price: £253,256

    Gross yield: 5.38%

    Months to pay off £27,750: 33

    For sale: Four-bedroom detached house in Candytoft Wynd, Ferniegair, for £264,995


    8. Leeds (University of Leeds)

    Average monthly rent: £1,301

    Average asking price: £297,419

    Gross yield: 5.25%

    Months to pay off £27,750: 28

    For sale: Four-bedroom detached house on Blenkinsop Way, Middleton, for £295,000


    9. Manchester (University of Manchester)

    Average monthly rent: £1,286

    Average asking price: £298,381

    Gross yield: 5.17%

    Months to pay off £27,750: 29

    For sale: Four-bedroom terraced house on Stamford Street, Old Trafford, for £295,000


    10. Aberdeen (University of Aberdeen)

    Average monthly rent: £1,406

    Average asking price: £333,205

    Gross yield: 5.06%

    Months to pay off £27,750: 26

    For sale: Four-bedroom flat on Forest Avenue for £395,000


    Here's a table showing the 10 worst buy-to-let student towns:


    University town

    Average monthly rent

    Average asking price

    Gross yield

    Months to pay off £27k

    1. Kingston upon Thames (Kingston University) £2,438 £1m 2.81% 15
    2. Hatfield (University of Hertfordshire)  £1,674  £697,395  2.88%  22 
    3.   High Wycombe (University of Buckingham)  £1,487  £591,336  3.02%  25 

    Stoke-on-Trent (Staffordshire University) 

    £718  £275,101  3.13%  52 
    5.   Lancaster (University of Lancaster)  £785  £300,069  3.14%  47 
    6.   Winchester (University of Winchester)  £1,875 £694,238  3.24%  20 
    7.   Carmarthen (University of Wales Trinity Saint David)  £786  £287,695  3.28%  47 
    8.   Twickenham (St Mary's University)  £2,765  £1m  3.3%  13 
    9. Carlisle (University of Cumbria)  £703  £254,941  3.31%  53 
    10. Egham (Royal Holloway, University of London) £1,839 £654,836 3.37% 20

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