Studying a niche market: UK students and the private rented sector

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Renting privately is a minority tenure in the UK, but the sector is recognised as being essential to the smooth operation of the wider housing market. The need to target policy effectively has led to an increasing stress on the importance of understanding how local private rental markets operate. Using a number of local case study areas from throughout the country, this paper explores the nature of demand for private rented housing from students. This niche market is a substantial and growing feature of the private rented sector. The paper demonstrates that although student demand shares a number of common characteristics throughout the UK, its localised impacts can vary. Both qualitative and quantitative methods are required to gain an understanding of how student demand affects all aspects of the local housing market, and it is concluded that greater attention needs to be paid to exploring ways of understanding the dynamics of rental market development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-303
Number of pages15
JournalHousing Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2002


  • renting
  • students
  • localities

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