SUNDERLAND students pay some of the cheapest accommodation prices in the country.
A new study has found that while rents in other university cities have continued to rise, the price of rooms in shared properties on Wearside has stayed the same.
And while other rents can be as much as £475 per month, the average price for a room in Sunderland is just £290.
The research by property-share website Easy Roommate showed that though the average rent has risen by 8.5 per cent in the last year, and is £357 per calendar month, the price in Sunderland has not risen since August 2012.
In Durham, where the average rent on offer is £355 per calendar month, the cost has risen by 3.7 per cent since last year.
Landlord Peter Smith, of Bill Free Homes, Durham, said the decreasing number of students compared to the number of available properties could be contributing to the price rise.
“There are less students and more places to live,” he said. “And prices for rent can vary from as little as £368 to £706.
“Durham is a city centred around the university and caters for students. A lot of the time you find that once a student has seen a property, they are willing to pay more.
“When you show something to someone for a low price that isn’t quality, they might think they are getting bad value.”
The figures also reveal that in every one in three university cities in the UK, students pay more rent than they would like to – and this is no different in Sunderland.
Those willing to pay £250 per month are pulling out an extra £40 to keep a roof over their heads.
Sunderland University tourism student Adrian Podar, 21, of Millfield, said hidden costs in tenancy agreements can often raise the price.
“Although we are supposed to pay £270, we can end up pay closer to £300 for things like repairs,” he said.
“A lot of the time, students are too shy to say anything to anyone about it – like the Students Union, or the council – so we pay it because we have no choice.”
However, Amy Germany, vice president of Sunderland Students Union, said students in the North East are lucky when it comes to rent.
“Sunderland is situated in a fortunate area of the country where rental prices for any house are amongst the lowest in the country.
“In an ever-changing economy, it’s no surprise that students are hit the hardest in regards to rent – housing takes a large chunk out of their yearly budget, when there is only a limited amount available to them initially.
“Although the amount students are willing to pay for accommodation in Sunderland is still lower than the average they do pay, an average price of £290 per calendar month still beats most other cities on being the cheapest and most affordable.”