Are students being priced out of living in a suitable accommodation?

According to university students, apartments in Cardiff are pricing them out of their budget. How are they living through these conditions?

The cheapest university city in the United Kingdom has now become expensive for students to live in

Cardiff was named one of the most affordable British university cities, according to the Natwest Student Living Index 2023. But with the cost of living crisis, even the cheapest city in the country is starting to cost a pretty penny to live in.

The prices of private rental services in Wales rose by 7.5% this year, according to the Office of National Statistics.

This measurement was the highest percentage increase of all the countries in Great Britain and has yet to decrease. Surveys that have been conducted also suggest that 32% of Welsh students said they had been unable to pay rent and 36% said the same for paying their bills.  

Wales has experienced an immediate strike in rental prices since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and has not gone down since (Graph sourced from Office for National Statistics)

The younger population is struggling with being able to afford private accommodations in Cardiff this year, especially with the cost of living crisis.

With this comes a lot of issues that students can face with paying rent on time and finding a suitable environment.

We decided to go out and ask young people in Cardiff about their current living situations and how they’ve been adjusting to it.

Cong, 27, UK education advisor, full-time student

“Some things in my house were broken before I moved in. It’s an old house so my landlord had to let me know beforehand. It’s something I can deal with for now but it’s going to be really hard when I have to move elsewhere this year because prices have gone up and I don’t want to live in this house anymore.”

Osian, 19, full-time student

“My accommodation is not at all up to my standards. My toilet didn’t work on the first day I moved in so I had to call maintenance to come fix it, but they told me if it ever happens again I’d have to chuck water down the toilet myself. There should be more action from the higher-ups, it’s ridiculous.”

Zidan, 19, full-time student

“I live in Cambrian Point, which is one of the cheapest private accommodations in the area for students. It’s quite good because my gym is a 15-minute walk from where I am and the Student Union is close as well. The only issue I have is my door lock not working, but I’d say I got lucky.”

Yike, 23, full-time student

“I live in private accommodation and it’s okay most of the time but it can get noisy because of other students. With what I pay every week, which is 170 pounds, I’d say it’s not worth it because it’s run-down. They’ve raised rent about 15 pounds so I’m looking to move already.”