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Housing prices go through the roof


William Sandbach argues we want cheap prices over living in the finest accommodation has to offer. Give me Lafrowda over Holland Hall any day, he says.

SO, it’s that time of year when students in Exeter desperately try and nab a property for next year. The housing fair in the Great Hall was predictably chaotic, although it did feature an archway of orange and yellow balloons as we entered which made the whole experience more enjoyable.

And surprise,1 surprise, there’s been another price hike. Speaking from personal experience, our 6 bed-room property is rising from £97/ week (bills included) to a stonking £107/week (bills included). Having achieved a D grade in A-Level economics, I can tell that something doesn’t add up and that we students are being shafted.

Delving a little deeper into the problem, I came across a Daily Mail article (bear with me) that confirmed Exeter as the third most expensive region for student housing in 2012.

Meanwhile, Exeter Daily and Express and Echo both report steep increases in property prices in the southwest region, with predictions of a 2 per cent rise in 2015.

According to Estate Agents Knight Frank, “All core markets currently remain structurally undersupplied. With student numbers rising, the imbalance will not be corrected within the short term.” The core markets mentioned are Manchester, Cambridge, Oxford, Liverpool and, of course Exeter.

Just to give a few examples of how the problem of expensive student housing is being ‘solved’ I direct your attention to Portland House (the flats opposite the monstrosity which is the John Lewis shopping centre). While these flats are of good quality and in a prime location, they are on the mar-ket from a MINIMUM of £152/week (bills included).

I don’t care that each of the bed-rooms comes with a �flat screen TV. I don’t care that the place comes with a gym. Literally get rid of those features, don’t bother to paint it and charge me £90 a week and I’m happy as Larry.

Take a leaf out of Old Lafrowda’s moth eaten book. Make the place look like a disused car-park complete with communal showers and silverfish crawling about. We are students, we want affordable accommodation and if we have to rough it, that’s fine.

– William Sandbach

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