House Hunting in Nottingham - the story so far


House hunting for the next academic year (2016 - 2017) commenced on Saturday 9th November 2015. 

Website activity

The comparisons below look at house hunting for properties for the next academic year (2016-2017) (start of house hunting 7th November 2015) and house hunting for the current academic year (2015-2016) (start of house hunting 12th January 2015).  There was a big difference predicted in the pattern of house hunting this year due to the much earlier start date.  For comparative purposes the 1st August 2014 to 28th February 2015 (2015) is compared with 1st August 2015 to 29th February 2016 (2016).

Key Observations:

  • 105,811 property searches have been carried out in 2016 compared to 88,702 in 2015, a 13% increase.
  • 54,721 sessions have been recorded in 2016 compared to 55,517 in 2015
  • 34,879 visits are unique in 2016 compared to 28,312 in 2015
  • the average rent of an exclusive off-street shared house is £73.17 in 2016 compared to £75.33 in 2015
  • 343,760 advert views have been recorded in 2016 compared to 321,571 in 2015.

Despite a slower and more steadier start to house hunting following the launch on 7th November 2015 activity has remained consistent and picked up again in January 2016 providing a second peak of activity.  

Currently both property searches and advert views are operating 19% and 7% higher than 2015 respectively.  Activity is likely to slow in March due to an early Easter period and many students returning home.  It is predicted thart activity in April will see another peak as students house hunt before the exam period in May. 

Availability of properties

The site displayed 3,677 bed spaces on the opening day compared to 3,299 in January 2015, offering plenty of choice and more properties are approved daily.  Particularly pleasing are the gains made in shared houses (3 beds or more) with over 300 more bed spaces available than that seen in January 2015.  As of 31st January 2016 5,665 bed spaces have been displayed in the current house hunting year.

The National Picture

A record 532,300 were placed in higher education through UCAS in 2015, up by 3 per cent on a like-for-like basis, as both applicants and acceptance rates increase. The increase in acceptances is a result of an increase in applicants (2.7 per cent to 718,500) and an increase in the acceptance rate (the proportion of applicants who are placed by the end of the cycle), by 0.9 percentage points to 74.1 per cent. This is a larger increase in the acceptance rate than last cycle and one of the largest increases seen since 2006. 

The figures below are as of the UCAS report published in December 2015 unless otherwise stated.

Key observations:

  • Acceptances from the EU increase by 11% to 29,300
  • Acceptances from outside the EU increase by 1.9% to 39,300
  • Acceptances from the UK increase to record 463,700 driven by 18 and 19 year olds
  • 42% of English young people enter higher education by age 19
  • Providers increase offer-making by 4.5% to a record 1.9 million offers
  • Increase of 5% in applicants placed through Clearing taking total to record 64,000

These are national figures and do not represent an individual institution's ability to recruit - there are always winners and losers as the market place continues to stratify. 

This intake period will see the first year of the removal of student number controls  at HEFCE-funded institutions.

In Nottingham

(Source: HESA)

Although it is useful to compare the current year with the previous year it is also important to look at trends across a number of years to get a better idea of the trajectory a city and its institutions are taking.  HESA figures are particularly useful in this respect and the latest figures 2014-2015 (always a year behind UCAS figures) have just been made available.

The University of Nottingham has experienced a strong decline in undergraduate and in particular postgraduate enrolments. This has been the major contributor to a city-wide drop in full-time enrolments of approaching 2,000 students between 2010-2011 and 2014-2015. 

Nottingham full-time enrolments 2010-11 – 2014-15 (HESA)
Institution Level 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
Nottingham Trent University UG 20,380 20,585 20,020 20,530 20,305
  PG 1,820 2,700 2,480 2,320 2,230
  Total 22,200 23,285 22,500 22,850 22,535
University of Nottingham UG 23,025 23,515 23,445 23,155 22,665
  PG 7,345 7,715 7,665 5,740 5,475
  Total 30,370 31,230 31,110 28,895 28,140
Overall TOTAL   52,570 54,515 53,610 51,745 50,675












The UCAS intake figures from the University of Nottingham are more encouraging for 2015-2016 as can be seen below.

  • Nottingham Trent University was in the top 20 universities nationally to show real growth between 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 (over 12%).  Nottingham Trent have though recruited 360 less students than the previous year in 2015-2016.
  • The University of Nottingham has seen a decline in intake since 2011 and, unlike virtually all the other Russell Group universities, its overall intake in Nottingham continues to decline reducing demand for accommodation.
  • The University of Nottingham has had a good recovery in its intake figures for 2015-2016 recruiting an extra 845 students through UCAS when compared to 2014-2015.
  • Postgraduate numbers at the University of Nottingham declined by 25% between 2010-2011 to the year 2014-2015.  Nottingham Trent Postgraduate numbers remain stable.
  • The non-continuation rate at both universities in Nottingham remains below the national average, protecting student numbers from falling further.  The non-continuation rate measures those student who drop out of university, most of these are seen in the first year of study.

"2015/2016 letting year has been a challenging market place and their are no indications that 2016-2017 will be easier; the market needs to adjust to plateaued student numbers and growing supply".

It is difficult to gain a full picture as the University of Nottingham continue to not release their application and clearing target.  From Nottingham Trent University's indicators they look to be on track to meet their target, with a good application rate to date.  Currently students numbers are not growing proportionately to the growth in student property provision, particularly in the purpose built area.